Telepresence robotic project

Research output: Other contribution


Robotic research projects are typically expensive and complicated, and therefore, access to them is highly restricted. Are areas of exploration similarly limited to that proposed by the select group of researchers?

The purpose of this project is to widen the pool of participants by creating a simple telepresence platform that is relatively inexpensive, relatively simple, and relatively easy to work on. Being relatively inexpensive, the robot can be in public spaces, inviting curiosity, suggestions, and participation from a wider audience. Being relatively easy to work on, participants with less training can get involved. By using simple construction techniques, common handheld tools can be used and less training is required to make modifications and to add features, further broadening the field of potential participants

By publishing this documentation, our hope is that others might duplicate all or some of this project, make modifications and improvements, further this approach of inviting broader participation in complicated projects, and in general make use of any material here. Therefore, this work is published with the (TBA) license


This project describes a telepresence device, i.e, the ability to virtually be at some remote location. Camera, microphone, loudspeaker, and screen project you to the remote location, and project the remote location to your web browser. Navigation controls on your web browser allow you to move the device to different locations and to turn to face different directions.

Technically, this is a simple motorized platform (which I will call a "robot" here, although it has no autonomy, and I hesitate to use the word "robot" for a device with no autonomy) with an onboard Linux computer (Raspberry Pi) and bidirectional audio and video capabilities (screen/camera, loudspeaker/microphone). Basically, video chat on a mobile platform.

The computer runs a web server. Remote visitors access the robot's URL (e.g. from a browser on their phone) and are presented with a basic video chat system: the image from the camera on the phone is visible on the screen of the robot, and the image from the camera on the robot is visible on the screen of the phone._ _Similarly for the audio. In addition, there is a control interface for the mobile platform visible on the phone, which allows the remote visitor to drive the robot around.
Original languageEnglish (US)
TypeOnline instructions for duplicating my telepresence research project to enable duplication and derivation
Media of outputinternet
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Sep 8 2020


  • telpresence
  • robotics
  • Physical computing


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