SDASM now offers tours to persons who are otherwise unable to visit our Museum in Balboa Park. This is done by the use of a computer controlled televising robot operated by anyone with a computer and internet access.
The device used is called a Beam Telepresence Device from Suitable Technologies (https://www.suitabletech.com/). Simply referred to as a “Beam”, the device stands about 5 feet tall with a 20 inch television monitor with a remote operator controlled self-propelling base. The device is linked to the internet via Wi-Fi but the operator can be any person with a computer from any location with internet access.
The Beam operator controls the movement by using their computer and can drive it around at walking speeds being led by a SDASM Docent. The Beam can turn and pivot and has small television camera at the top of the Beam which can move up and down and can zoom in or out to change the field of view. For the Docent leading a tour the television presents the image of the remote operator and in a corner is a picture of what the Beam operator is actually seeing on their computer screen.
For the Docent leading a tour of the Museum, the Beam provides a chance for a very personal relationship with the remote operator and a unique opportunity to talk with operators from almost any place in the world.
As of this writing, the San Diego Air & Space Museum is the only museum in Southern California which offers regular Beam tours of our museum, our exhibits, including the very popular Da Vinci Exhibit.
This short YouTube video demonstrates the use of the Beam: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB3YNLv0iE0&feature=youtu.be)
There is no charge for a Beam tour which can be scheduled online at: http://sandiegoairandspace.org/visit/beam-tour-program