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Propelmee tests virtual tourism robots

UK-based technology firm Propelmee has debuted a new service called Challau that allows consumers to engage in virtual tourism via remotely controlled robots. Users of the service, now in a beta testing phase, use a computer or smartphone to control a robot in real time and view its surroundings by video. People near the robot can also see and hear the user. Challau currently offers virtual travel to seven location in the United Kingdom, including Trafalgar Square in London and historic locations in the City of Oxford. The company plans to expand to 21 locations in the UK and internationally next year. The service is currently free to try at <>.

“Countries around the world have imposed many travel restrictions and introduced strict quarantining rules,” said Zain Khawaja, CEO of Propelmee. “This makes it very difficult for people to travel for leisure or recreation. Tourism is one of the last remaining sectors to go fully digital. There aren't any good online alternatives for visiting places and that's what we wanted to solve with Challau. Compared to existing online travel options, Challau gives users complete agency to explore as they wish, in real-time. We think that it's really exciting for people to drive a robot on the other side of the world. It's the closest thing to actually being there in person.”

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