I’ve got my hands on an E-Bot Pro from HIMS recently and here are my honest thoughts on it. The concept of the E-Bot pro is great however it isn’t always practical. The purpose of the E-bot is to aid persons with visual disabilities, it works great in certain applications but not others. Let me explain in greater detail, the E-Bot Pro is best used in a stationary manner connected via a USB cable. Carrying it around and then opening it up every time is very cumbersome. It isn’t even intuitive to open it up quickly during a session. This makes the E-Bot a not so portable device. The dedicated WiFi feature of this product isn’t very responsive. Sometimes it connects, other times it doesn’t and sometimes it lags. A hard wired USB connection is a must for the E-Bot Pro to function at its full potential. I also found that the E-bot has difficulty picking up writing on a smart board, sometimes the words written on a smart board is not visible at all through the distance viewer.
E-Bot Pro Installation
The E-Bot user manual is excellent, it tells you step by step directions on setting up the product for first use. However, there are somethings to keep in mind before setting up the E-Bot Pro. You must have a PC or laptop with a USB 3.0 port for the best possible experience. You will also need a USB 3.0 cable for connection. I found that if you plug the E-Bot into a USB 2.0 port it will spit out an error message as if it isn’t connected. Once connected with the proper cables, the program will launch and you can use the E-Bot remote for most of the controls such as Zoom, OCR etc.
Another way you can use the E-Bot Pro is via it’s builtin dedicated WiFi connection. This can be cumbersome if you use your laptop to connect to the internet as well as the E-BOT. You can only connect to one WiFi connection from a laptop normally. This means choosing between your internet connection or the connection to the E-Bot. This is a major disadvantage of the EBOT’s dedicated wifi connection. Most students may have to be connected to the internet for them to do their work while also using the EBOT. An alternative method is to use an iPad or an android tablet and make a connection through the EBOT app. Doing this may put the visually impaired student at a disadvantage for a larger screen.
The E-Bot Pro has a price tag of $3495 which is a hefty price to pay for a product that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles. However, if used as a dedicated stationary machine, connected to a laptop or desktop via a USB cable; the E-Bot may suit your needs pretty well. The OCR feature of the E-bot is exceptionally great, it seems to pick up all the words with accuracy. The E-bot Pro battery lasts about 3 hours on continuous usage. If you are looking for a portable magnifier for a classroom, then the E-BOT Pro isn’t the machine that you would want to carry everyday. I hope my article on the E-bot Pro was helpful in making a purchase decision.