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If I Had This Robot, Maybe My Editors Wouldn't Have Sent Me to CES

Telecommuters are the biggest market segment for telepresence robots.

Double Robotics

More and more people across the world work remotely, especially in the United States. And to do their jobs from home, they’re leaning on software like Slack or Google Docs to get stuff done.

Double Robotics wants to be the hardware sidekick to services like Slack. Double makes a telepresence robot, an iPad attached to a nifty, wheeled device. It streams the office to someone at home, who can control the robot and broadcast their face to co-workers. At CES today, Double pulled the curtain back on its newest model, the Double 2.

Re/code tested out the first model last April, and while it doesn’t make a lot of sense for many offices, Double’s logic makes sense when CEO David Cann talks about its use for full-time telecommuters or classrooms. The Double 2 rolls more smoothly, has a better camera and it can go 80 percent faster (topping out at a whopping 1.6 miles per hour).

But back to the telecommuting bit for a second. In August, Gallup said that 37 percent of U.S. workers have telecommunicated at some point, more than four times what respondents said in 1995. Census data from 2010 report that 3.7 percent of American workers do their jobs from home, a 42 percent increase over the previous five years.

David Cann says that these telecommuters, who he says include customers at LinkedIn, are Double’s core constituency. They’ve made Double profitable, which is pretty impressive for a hardware startup that has only raised a seed round since exiting Y Combinator more than three years ago.

“We’re not looking to raise a Series A, it’s not quite the moment,” Cann told Re/code in an interview. “But as this gains cultural acceptance, like appearing on ‘Modern Family’, we’re excited to see our business grow.”

The Double 2 costs $2,500, but it’s $3,000 for the full-feature bundle.

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