Commodity Telepresence Rover


Scott Metoyer built this awesome telepresence rover using really cheap parts. He started with a Pentium II laptop that wasn’t being used. Then he picked up a relay board to connect to the parallel port. A servo board was connected to the serial port and a webcam was attached to the USB port. The drive wheels are powered by two windshield wiper motors. The rover runs a server application that talks to a wireless client computer for control. He says the control lag is minimal and you get 15fps from the webcam with pan and tilt. This is a great start and really shows how cheaply you can build a telepresence robot. Scott still has a lot of sensor connections he can use so I’m sure will see more interesting applications in the future.

5 thoughts on “Commodity Telepresence Rover

  1. That really cool, a while ago i was invited to Johns Hopkins to present my science project and they had people form i forget where that but someting similar to that but for the military and cost i think 20 some thousand bucks.

  2. well this is pretty simple project and cool also should have used some kind of tablet pc or low cost laptops that are really small but that would raise the cost of the project but make the rover much smaller.

  3. Very cool indeed!! Alot cheaper than commercial telepresence rovers thats for sure! I recon the laptop makes for a bug unit but a more intelligent one. My tele-rover cant think for sh1t compared to this one. kudos

  4. There are several designs based on PDA that bring the size down considerably but they are limited in the I/O channels that a serial/parallel/usb laptop can provide.

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