Simple telepresence hack lets remote user rotate this laptop

[Kris] wanted to make the telecommuting employees at his office feel a little more in control of their virtual presence in the office. He gave them a way to look around without needing to go into full-blown robotics. This laptop stand has a Lazy Susan connected to a servo motor to give the user control of where the computer is pointed.

We’ve certainly seen our share of really complicated surrogate builds like this balancing robot. There have been simpler options too, such as this smartphone-carrying motorized base. But when you get right down to it, the ability to pan the camera is probably good enough for most situations. [Kris'] solution can be built in an afternoon, using simple materials. The box is made out of MDF with a base for the laptop connected by the ball-bearing hardware that supports the weight and makes sure the servo is able spin it freely. It is driven by an Arduino which connects to the computer via USB; making it easy to control remotely. Check out a quick clip of the laptop going round and round after the break.

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Arduino powered singing table

This musical Lazy Susan, or “Crazy Adam” was brought to us by students from MIT.  It basically plays [Soul II Soul]‘s “Back to Life”  as it turns.  In their words: “Through the interaction with the Singing Lazy Susan, we found the eating patterns and behaviors unique to each person, which reflect our personalities and interests. The dining experience expands to a new domain.”  Are we the only ones who think this is silly? Not only is an Arduino overkill for this, how does this help reflect our personalities and interests? We know, someone will say that art doesn’t need to make sense, but  this would just get annoying really fast. Good job coming up with an idea and making it happen. Please don’t bring that to our next office party. It is also worth noting that musical Lazy Susans aren’t exactly a new idea.

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