Robotify your Netbook with OCULUS Telepresence Robot Kit
Laptop’s are always being a portable alternative to the Desktop PC’s, but wouldn’t it been more great if Laptops came with wheels? That way you could drive them around with your phone and use them as telepresence robots. Ever want to be in two places at once? Or keep tabs on your home or office while you’re not there, even from halfway across the planet ? All you have to do is combine a small laptop with the OCULUS Telepresence Robot kit.
Here’s a Kickstarter project that helps your Netbook get mobile. The Oculus Telepresence Robot kit puts a periscope on top of your computer and four wheels underneath, and you can pilot the thing with an Android phone, an iPad, an iPhone, an iPod Touch, or anything with a Web browser.
The servo-controlled periscope adjusts to your Netbook’s camera, and the adjustable motorized ABS plastic frame can auto-dock to recharge itself. The frame fits most laptops with screens of up to 10 inches.
Oculus consists of an adjustable frame that holds a variety of small laptops (a.k.a netbooks), complete with powered wheels and a tilting periscope for the laptop’s built-in webcam. It has easy-to-install, open source control software.
The kit, from Vancouver-based Xaxxon Technologies, gives you two-way audio and video, an open-source Java platform, and remote surveillance capabilities that can have your robo-Netbook keeping watch over your home for weeks while you’re away.
- Telepresence: 2-way audio and video
- Remote surveillance: leave the robot running for weeks while you’re away from the home or office
- Flexible Robotics Platform: open source Java software, open-hardware Arduino compatible microcontroller
- Best used on smooth, hard floors
The Oculus software currently works on Windows 7, Vista and XP operating systems.
The frame fits most laptops/netbooks with 10″ screen or smaller, with webcams reasonably centered above the screen. Many 11″ laptops work as well.
Your laptop’s stock charger plugs into the charging dock. Oculus will ship with 5 sizes of DC power adapters to suit most manufacturers. 10″ laptops from Samsung and Sony are known to be NOT compatible at this time (but you can always splice a charger in if you know basic wiring).
See here for detailed compatibility info.
The project has a goal of $15,000, and backers who chip in $390 or more get a plywood version of the motorized frame and a dual Cree LED headlight for roboting around in the dark.
Oculus is really a Super Cool way to turn your Laptop into a Transformer, an useful Autobot Check out the promo video below.