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Don’t want to be in your 360 footage? There’s a robot for that

With 360 degree cameras, every image is an immersive selfie, but what if you don’t want to be in the picture? A new product could just change that. Double Robotics has developed a 360 Camera Dolly  (via Cnet) that allows videographers to move the camera around while recording, without getting in the shot.

The dolly comes from the startup Double Robotics, the team behind the telepresence robot that, equipped with a tablet, allows users to remotely attend a class or meeting, controlling the robot from afar. The 360 Camera Dolly actually just repurposes the telepresence robot, but with a new camera mount. An iPhone on the VR dolly allows the videographer to see where it is headed by streaming footage using 4G, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. The smartphone also connects the robot to an online platform that controls the dolly’s movement.

While the dolly will still be in the 360-degree shot, the smaller profile isn’t quite as intrusive as a person’s body when holding the camera. The dolly also appears to operate almost silently, so it won’t wreck the project’s audio:

The company says the 360 Camera Dolly is the first designed for virtual reality film crews. Built with aircraft-grade aluminum, the dolly can handle any camera up to five pounds using a standard tripod bolt mount.

Of course, still photographers could use the dolly for 360 images too. But with a price tag of $3,000, the dolly isn’t likely to replace a tripod anytime soon, at least not for still photos that don’t need the robot’s mobility.

That price doesn’t include the VR camera, iPhone for connectivity, or a second device to control the system using a web browser. Owners of Double Robotic’s telepresence robot can upgrade their bot with a $249 mount adapter. A custom Pelican travel case is included.

The Double Robotic’s Camera Dolly is expected to start shipping June 15.