Facebook received a patent for a robot that follows users around to take photos. But is having a type of telepresence robot in one's home good for privacy?
Smartphones, and the multitude of apps that go with them, have changed users’ photography habits. Taking a snap of everything one does has become almost ceremonial, followed by a mandatory Instagram post. Now, Facebook wants to get in on the photo-taking game.
The social networking giant received a new patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday for a robot that balances on two or three legs. The self-balancing robot is designed to follow users around the house to capture those precious “Instagram-able” moments with its built-in camera, screen, and microphone.
Telepresence robots, which seem to be the inspiration behind Facebook’s new personal photographer, are essentially videoconferencing screens mounted on moving bases. Professionals use these robots to remotely attend meetings or galas, projecting their faces on the screen and interacting with people as the robot perambulates around the room.