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Richard Garriott running Portalarium with robots

Eliot Lefebvre

Have you ever wished that instead of having to go to your job, you could just turn on the computer, log in to an avatar in the same manner as an MMO, and take care of everything that way? Perhaps to the surprise of no one, Richard Garriott has begun doing precisely that at his company, Portalarium. Rather than commuting between New York and the studio in Austin, Garriott has a small robotic avatar to allow him a face-to-video-monitor presence in Austin even when he's away.

The robot itself is a $15,000 Anybot QB from the eponymous company Anybots, Inc, which Garriott claims was originally purchased so that his mother could virtually attend his wedding in France. He also stresses that it's not a means of keeping tabs on employees, merely a way to bridge the gap between two very distant locations. And really, if you had just won millions of dollars in a lawsuit, wouldn't you be attending all events via robot?

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