AUVSI: IRobot’s RP-VITA joins its robotic lineup

Washington DC
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IRobot (booth 3601), best known for its floor-cleaning Roomba and bomb-fighting PackBot, is showcasing its new telepresence robot, the RP-VITA, aimed at allowing doctors to expand their reach and tend to patients in remote locations.

The new RP-VITA is initially aimed at stroke specialists, explains company CEO Colin Angle. There are two types of strokes, one caused by a clot in the brain, one caused by bleeding in the brain, and diagnosing them quickly and accurately can be key to patient recovery.

"The specialists who are able to diagnose the different types of strokes are in high demand," he says. "The RP-VITA closes the gap by making wherever the specialist is irrelevant relative to where the patient is, as long as the hospital has a VITA robot."

RP-VITA, developed with partner InTouch Health, can eventually address other illnesses as well, Angle says, and builds on the company's long-term goal of addressing the needs of people as they age, a goal that "drives our business decisions."

That started with the floor-cleaning Roomba and has now progressed to the much more advanced RP-VITA.

"The next category and challenges have to do with bringing services into the home. RP-VITA is a fantastic example of a first commercialized step in doing that," Angle says. "Over time, it could be affordable in a home situation."