Telepresence robots have showcased their ability to help people gain a presence in places they cannot be in person. However, these kinds of devices can come in a lot of variants and be expensive; which makes it hard for newcomers to consider investing in their use. The KUBI robotic tablet stand, manufactured by Xandex Inc. in Petaluma, California, is a great choice that we believe provides excellent value, as long as you don’t mind it not having wheels.
Kubi means “Neck” in Japanese which is exactly what you are giving your tablet with this product. With the use of the KUBI Classic, anyone can have a virtual presence even if they are in a different country. This is beneficial for those who want video conferencing or private discussions with their employees while overseas.
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KUBI robotic tablet stand 1-minute review
The KUBI Classic telepresence robot is not your typical stationary screen. With the ability to twist around and move in multiple directions on command, small personalized gestures, such as moving the robot’s neck to face the person that you are speaking to.
You do require a tablet to operate the KUBI which can be fixed in either portrait and landscape mode. Because this device is compatible with most Android, Windows and Apple devices, a tablet is not specifically required. While the obvious limitation, when compared to other iPad telepresence robots such as the Double 2, is the lack of wheels, it is a much more affordable option if you wanted to add a little something to your video conferencing. If you are looking for a cheap telepresence robot, this could be a great choice.
What we love?
● Pans and tilts the tablet in different directions
● Affordable as compared to the other telepresence robots
● Compatible with most operating systems
What we don’t ?
● Not capable of smoothly gliding through the room like more advanced models
● Some buyers have noticed that the Bluetooth connection for this device can unreliable; which can result in unexpected lost connection in the middle of a conference call
● Some users have reported that the app that is recommended to be used with this robot can be buggy at times
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KUBI Classic Full Review
In our personal experience, since we began utilizing the robot ipad stand, there was no going back. A simple video call with the KUBI robotic tablet stand was much more engaging both for the operator and the team on the other end.
Because the technology that allows most telepresence robots to glide across the room is expensive, these robots can come with a hefty price tag. However, if you don’t need a moving robot, Revolve Robotics KUBI is an affordable variation that has tablets set in different locations depending on preference.
How does it work?
Before talking about the specific functions of the telepresence robot, let’s first discuss the components. Most telepresence robots consist of an operating device, a broadcasting device, and a Wi-Fi connection. You can control the broadcasting device through the operating system. In this case, the broadcasting device will be the tablet that you will mount on the robot.
A feature that differentiates Revolve Robotics KUBI from other telepresence robots is that it can be connected via Bluetooth. Because the KUBI comes with LE auto-pairing that is compatible with android tablets that have Bluetooth 4.0, Jellybean 4.3, or KitKat, a wifi connection is not necessary to operate this device.
Personalized keyboard controls for this robot are also optional for those who wish to take advantage of it. If you have an iOS device, then you can also utilize the KUBI video through special controls that are available in an app to ensure proper quality screening.
Finally, once you have your KUBI setup, you can use any video conferencing software you like, you are not restricted to using the software they demand. This ensures that it can easily be used with whatever your current software of choice is, or like in the case of our office, whatever they feel like using on the day. Google Meet, Hangouts, Slack, Skype, Join Me . . . you get the idea, KUBI will work with any of them.
The KUBI robotic tablet stand does a great job of bringing an extra level of engagement to your video conferencing. It can be frustrating not knowing who is talking and when responding not talking directly to them without having someone constantly having to move the camera. KUBI conquers these challenges with ease. It also enables you to see more non-verbal communication and catch people that may be checking their phones rather than giving their full attention.
As it is just the stand, the performance of the video is based on the software you use, whether Skype, Facetime or something else, all video conferencing software is compatible. This is a big plus as there will be limited changes to any infrastructure required to incorporate KUBI into your metings.
I would recommend getting some practice in before fully unleashing the KUBI. Some of the finer movements happen quite quickly. To get the smooth control down, it will take a bit of practice otherwise it may end up being more distracting than anything else.
It’s also worth noting that other buyers have commented that they couldn’t connect their table to the stand. While we don’t envisage this being a system-wide issue, it’s worth knowing and be sure not to throw away the packaging before your KUBI is fully functional in case you may need to return a duff unit.
Overall, we loved the small, but the significant difference the KUBI makes to video calling, whether at home with your family or in the middle of a conference table.
Setup is quite straight forward. You need to make sure that the tablet you are using has Bluetooth turned on. This is how your table will connect to the stand. Then you, of course, need WiFi or data turned on to be able to call. You will then need to make sure you have the KUBI Control app which will allow your KUBI to connect to the tablet.
Once you have this setup, just safely secure your tablet using the gripping arms, they have rubber bumper pads to prevent damage, and your KUBI is ready.
The to call your newly installed iPad robot, on your laptop, desktop or mobile device, use your browser and go to www.kubi.me/A1B2C3 where “A1B2C3” is the serial number of the KUBI you want to control.
The KUBI Classic telepresence robot comes with a one year warranty to protect against most accidental damages that may occur. The warranty fully covers any manufacturing defects that the user might find. Furthermore, if the user does not like the product, then they can choose to return it, but they will still be required to pay for a percentage of the total cost of the robot.
Final thoughts on the KUBI robotic tablet stand
This classic telepresence robot has multiple uses; especially for those in the professional setting. It performs well as a telepresence robot for home, office video conferencing, telemedicine, teaching in remote places, and teaching students who live abroad. All these features come included for a relatively low price making the KUBI classic a cheap telepresence robot.
Buyers have noticed that the KUBI robotic tablet stand attracts a lot of positive attention, especially when used in trade shows. Despite showcasing other pieces of technology, often it was KUBI stealing the show. This might be because the tablet can be seen panning around the room smoothly when it is incorporated into their roundtable conferences.
The only downside is that this robotic tablet stand will be fixed in one spot, but if that is not an issue then you should definitely consider purchasing the KUBI Classic if you have a need for one.
Matt is the founder of the Little Robot Shop, who has spent much of the last decade hacking home cleaning with various robots and devices to make keeping his home clean as easy as possible. Not an easy task with two young children.
When not working on the Little Robot Shop website or YouTube channel, he works as technical support and product specialist for a fast-growing digital company. He does his best to get his younglings to code, which will be an essential skill in the future.