About this project
If we hit $100k, Botiful will support iPhone!!
July 17 update : Ahti Heinla, Co-founder and former chief architect of Skype is backing Botiful!
A Botiful robot at home
Botiful is the first consumer tele-presence robot. With Skype as a simple interface you or your friends can control the robot and be remotely present from anywhere in the world.
It's time to have a robot at home !
To do what ?
Be present with anyone, from anywhere !
- Skype video calls - Botiful is fully integrated with Skype and is table top. You can move the robot and the head to look at the people you are talking to and follow them as they move
- Baby monitoring - see everything you want to see, not just what is shown to you
- Play remotely with kids - with Botiful, you interact with kids and share their games
- Safely inspect places you can't access yourself, like under a car
- Social events - Invite distant buddiesto your favorite places, or join them if you can't be present
- Visit a place from your home
- Entertain your pet remotely
How does it work ?
Botiful uses Skype to manage contacts and calls.
If you have a Botiful robot :
Just connect it to your smartphone. All your Skype contacts will be alerted when your robot comes online.
If you want to call a robot
Place your call to your friend's robot using Skype :
When your friend's robot accepts the call, you will see a new window will appear with the remote control interface:
- move the robot with the arrow buttons or with the advanced remote control panel
- look up or down with the head arrows
- start apps : apps installed on the robot are automatically detected and available on the remote control interface
Customize your Botiful's style
Pledge the "color option" and select among three colors to customize your robot :
You can combine the colors to create your own style!
Customize with apps
Botiful's capabilities can be indefinitely extended by downloading apps. Just connect yourself to the Botiful market, choose your application and download it.
Customize by coding
When you pledge for the SDK option, Botiful comes with a complete SDK and allows you to develop extensions for your Botiful :
- Develop new apps. Botiful SDK allows direct access to the robot hardware. You can develop new apps, for standalone usage on the robot, or to be controlled by remote users.
- Add new sensors or actuators : Botiful is based on the awesome IOIO board and exposes 10 I/O. You get access to them with Botiful SDK. Use them as digital/analog input/outputs, Pwm, I2c or Serial.
- Exchange your own data format : Botiful SDK exposes a Network Protocol with a set of functions to use your own type of data.
Why Botiful needs your support ?
I have been working on Botiful for several years. The Botiful robots I use in my video are fully working prototypes. The software is also fully developed. Thanks to your help, the next step is the manufacturing !
Let's team up to launch the first affordable video conference robot !
- Tooling : plastics parts require special molds
- Large order for all the electronics
- Cleanup the SDK
Q. Is my Android phone compatible with Botiful ? the robot by itself should be compatible with most Android phones on the market (already tested phones can be found here). But in order to use the software to control the robot remotely, you need to verify that Skype is working on your Android phone. To do so, download the Skype application from the Android market and try to place a call to one of your friends. Don't forget to do the test with a video call ! Current list of certified devices can be found on the Skype website here, but you can always check with your phone as there is a lot of working phones not certified.
Q. How does Botiful hold the phone in place ? Botiful uses a magnet to hold the cell phone. With your Botiful, you will receive a small and ultra thin metallic part. Two options : either you can fit it on the rear of you cell phone, (this what I did with my Galaxy phone) or buy a protective case ($2 -$4 on Ebay) and install the metallic part on the case.
Q. I would like to use an old Android phone with no front camera ! If you don't mind not seeing the face of the person controlling the robot, you can buy a Flip case and reverse the phone to use the back camera. This is what I did with my old phone on the picture below.
Q. How does it charge? Botiful is a USB peripheral. You can charge it by plugging it to your computer or directly on the wall charger provided with your Botiful robot.
Q. Does Botiful SDK work without Skype? Definitively ! Skype is an "extra" feature to control the robot remotely. But Botiful and the SDK are independent from Skype. You can develop a standalone application to control you robot without using Skype.
Q. How do I control the Botiful robot of my friend? You install Botiful control software. Working OS are :
- Android still in "Alpha" stage
Q. I have a question not in the list ? Please ask !
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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