Enterprise Connect 2014: Say hello to your Cisco and iRobot overlord


The cloud. Enormous processing power. Ubiquitous information access. Intelligent software.

And now, robots in the workplace.

Is this the harmless Enterprise Connect conference, or are we in a Terminator movie franchise?

Have no fear — unless your employer is named Cyberdyne Systems and the WiFi you connect to shows Skynet. And your officemate isn’t Miles Dyson, is he?

Lucky for us, the iRobot Ava 500 is merely a “video collaboration” robot, not yet infused with artificial intelligence although it can navigate quite handily through hallways and rooms. Using Cisco networking and telepresence technologies, Ava 500 takes videoconferencing to a whole new level of cool. And a whole new level of cost: $69,500, or $2,500 per month leased.

In other words, for the cost of a junior-level worker’s annual salary, your company can own a LCD-on-a-stick-with-wheels. The justification? Ava 500 can be used by multiple remote workers, doesn’t take vacations, and will never complain about the cafeteria food.

So it begins… Say hello to your robot overlords in the enterprise.

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