Can I have multiple remote students login to the same Kubi? Yes, you can. But for the best presence and embodiment of the remote student, we recommend one Kubi per remote student. But in many classes, there is a large number of remote students and that simply doesn’t make sense to have that many Kubis, but you can still have multiple remote students utilize the same Kubi. Since Kubi runs in a Zoom video conference, you can support as many participants as you have enabled on our Zoom account. Standard Zoom Pro accounts enable up to 50 participants.
Who shows up on the screen when there are multiple people logged in to one Kubi? We have worked with Zoom to make it the best experience in the classroom. It is designed so that when one of the remote participants clicks the ‘Connect Kubi’ that their video feed gets ‘pinned’ to be the full screen video feed while they have controls. Once they give up controls, it switches back to the active speaker or gallery view depending on what mode you were on.
How difficult are these to set-up? A charged Kubi can be literally set-up and ready to control in less than a minute or two. Some universities have figured out ways to even remotely set-up a classroom of 10 Kubis in less than a minute with workflows that utilize the the auto-answer and invite functionality that is built into Zoom.
How much does Kubi cost? The basic Kubi unit without at tablet or any other accessories is only $699 MSRP. And with all the bells and whistles that includes an iPad Air, our audio upgrade kit that adds an amplified speaker and a directional microphone, an adjustable height tripod stand, and a USB charging hub and 1 year of Zoom Pro Video service is $1,549 MSRP. Education is available from Revolve Robotics and some of our resellers. You can find our order page at https://www.revolverobotics.com/get-kubi/ or contact our customer success team at [email protected].
We use Adobe Connect, Polycom, Blackboard Collaborate, Skype, or another video service, can I use Kubi with that? Yes, Kubi will work with any video service if you utilize our Kubi Control app, but we have built out the best workflow for using Kubi with Zoom Video Conferencing.
How is this different than regular Zoom or Skype on my tablet or laptop? Kubi creates an interactive and engaging presence for the remote students and faculty by giving them a full screen video feed with the ability to pan and tilt to look around to interact face to face with others in the classroom. Michigan State coined the term ‘discernible attention’ as the key differentiator in that the movement of Kubi provides queues to everyone in the room with Kubi where their attention is focused.
Do you have a version with wheels? No, we do not make a version with wheels because from our studies of understanding the needs and use case of universities, we found that the roaming robots with wheels often do not make sense on campus. We have heard first hand from many users who have tried these out at universities that they simply don’t work for their needs because they are not able to be as dependable and autonomous as they would hope. When they encounter wifi deadspots, closed doors, stairs, elevators, tight quarters, or even uneven terrain, they need another person to support them. In fact, some of our customers called them ‘bot buddies’ which is another person that ends up escorting or even carrying the roaming telepresence robot which defeats the purpose of being autonomous.
Is this Sheldon Bot from the Big Bang Theory? No, but Kubi was on Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Bot was a roaming robot. Kubi was featured in <ashley?>’s lab 2 seasons ago and did have remote conversations between Sheldon and Ashley.
How good is the audio on Kubi? It depends, but it can be very good. Kubi can be used with a tablet without any audio accessories, but we find that most tablets were designed to be very close to the user, even 2-3 feet away, so once you get more than 5-8’ away from the Kubi, the microphone starts having trouble picking up the remote person. And, for the in person students and faculty being able to hear the remote participant(s), once you get >10’ away and depending on the background noise and the loudness of the given tablet it can sometimes be difficult to hear. This is why we came up with our audio upgrade kit that includes a directional microphone and an amplified speaker. The directional microphone picks us a cone of sound in-front of the direction that the microphone is pointed, and interestingly, as Kubi pans and tilts and adjusts where you look, it adjusts the position of the directional microphone so that you are listening to the sound from the direction that you are looking. For higher end upgrades to audio, we recommend adding a computer as a additional participant in the Zoom meeting which not only adds the ability to easily screen share but also makes it easy to incorporate a myriad of USB based wired and wireless microphone and speaker capabilities.