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While We Await Hyperloop, Take a Virtual Robot Tour of Italy With San Pellegrino

A new effort from San Pellegrino gives users the chance to spend "Three Minutes In Italy" via a telepresence robot tour.

The village of Taormina in Sicily is a beautiful place to visit. Unfortunately for Americans, it’s 4,500 miles from the easternmost point of the United States. That distance can’t prevent fans of San Pellegrino from taking a really quick tour of the place though.

Agency Ogilvy NY and studio Deeplocal recently launched a new campaign that allows Facebook users to spend "Three Minutes in Italy." In a rare show of restraint, the robots are holding off on plans for their inevitable uprising to help landlocked Italophiles visit the Boot without leaving the house. Viewers will be able to see the streets of Taormina through these vessels’ electronic eyes.

Those in need of a brief vacation need simply go to San Pellegrino’s Facebook page, where an app allows them to choose between two live experiences. In the first, tour guide Marcelo walks you around with what looks like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit wearing a San Pellegrino sandwich board and a yellow helmet. This ground-based robot allows you to control it for three minutes, interacting with locals through a two-way (automatically translated) audio and video connection.

The second live experience involves an airborne Skybot, which shows the gorgeous aerial view, but alas does not match you up with any skydiving Italians.

Like all vacations, this one has an expiration date, and you will have to come back to reality before August 17, when the experience ends.

Watch two explanatory videos below.

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