Telepresence upgrade with a minimum of effort

telepresence-upgrade-with-very-simple-parts

This telepresence upgrade lets an employee take part in the office from more than four thousand kilometers away. It’s an upgrade of their previous setup which used a laptop on a rotating platform to add a bit of control to the video conferencing experience. But all that original version could do was swivel, this one lets you drive your virtual self around for fifteen hours between battery charges.

The real work is in the base of the robot, as the audio and video are handled by a tablet independently from the locomotion. The team spent about four hundred bucks to throw the thing together. It starts with a hunk of plywood. Two 3A motors were mated with lawnmower wheels for the front of the bot. Dragging under the back of the base are a couple of casters that make it possible to turn without skidding. A motor shield and a WiFi shield for the Arduino make it possible to control the thing over the Internet. They even added some functionality on the client side to use a PlayStation 3 controller. Check out the completed machine in the clip after the break.

15 thoughts on “Telepresence upgrade with a minimum of effort

  1. Sorry to say its all double Dutch to me OMG when will it all become easy for us baby boomers !- And us with limited learning in IT – it’s all trial and error and all so costly when often we don’t need half of what we purchase -those of us self employed etc

  2. They really should put a “feeler” or something in the front so when the thing inevitably tips forward it doesn’t land directly on the iPad’s screen.

  3. Should be quite easy to put arms on it that you can control on the other side, if its ipad running skype, anyone can easily do mic when call to powerup robot. lol

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