My friend Colin has project that I’ve been helping him test for the last few months.. and now oculus finally ready for market! Colin has made bikes and my custom climbing rig in the past, but he has always wanted to make affordable wifi robots. The key to oculus is the low cost but fully featured mini laptop. The telepresence robot itself is powered via USB and runs on Java, Java Script, Flash and the open source web server tomcat. The real selling point for me is the android application to drive it from anywhere in the world. Pretty fun as just toy, but doing two way calls over the web means you can check on kids, pets or even your business or office at night. Yes, oculus has as a set of headlights that will be available. Of course we know it needs to fire darts etc. Oculus could be the office mascot that takes aim at slackers. This is the reason for supporting hacks and mods in the discovery mechanism and using the arduino bootloader.
See the USB powered headlight for Oculus, prototype circuit on breadboard on Twitpic
Geeks can check out the code here: google code project. I’m adding some developer level hooks into the bot as well as sonar. Colin is the Flash and Java Script wizard, but many of the visual recognition features will be exposed in the developer API. If you’d like to help with some mapping and position algorithms, please do get in touch. Also note that the motors and sensors connect to a custom arduino. The firmware and board designs are all open to developers, but simple pin header gives hackers access to extend the hardware (as I’ve done with a sonar range finder as an example).
I have setup a guest account on the bot in my living room. Anyone can log in with:
So, this week, use Colin’s bot:
login: guest, password: guest