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Oculus is a motorized frame and software kit that instantly converts a small laptop into a web controlled ROBOT
Oculus is a motorized frame and software kit that instantly converts a small laptop into a web controlled ROBOT
Oculus is a motorized frame and software kit that instantly converts a small laptop into a web controlled ROBOT
106 backers pledged $25,161 to help bring this project to life.

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Latest from Xaxxon and other Cool Robots

Hello! We've been busy at Xaxxon working on our next platform, currently dubbed Oculus ITX. It is to be a four wheeled rover like Oculus, but will be aimed at home/office/warehouse surveillance, with less of a focus on telepresence. Instead of using a small laptop for its brains, it will have its own mini-ITX motherboard built in, running Linux or Windows. Here are the specs so far:

  • Mini-ITX Atom motherboard with SSD, 4Gb RAM, Wifi
  • Four x 5-inch wheels with independent quiet-running DC gearmotors for each
  • Capable of navigating 1.5" obstacles, and off-road operation (fair weather only)
  • Built in battery and charging system, 2 hours run time or higher
  • Charging station with automatic-visual docking
  • USB camera, with 220 degrees of vertical tilt
  • Spotlight/Floodlight built into camera tilt
  • Xtion/Primesense 3D depth camera mount

Here's a shot of the very 1st prototype (quite a few things are going to change, but this is the idea):

18 second video:

And a shot next to good 'ol Oculus, for scale:

The software is very similar to that of Oculus, built on the same open Oculus-Java platform, and the controller PCB is Arduino compatible. We plan on offering the robot in a fully configured and assembled version, AND in a bare-bones, ship flat, kit version that you supply your own mini-ITX hardware for. Pre-order availability is still a couple months or more away yet, so stay tuned!

And - The Fritz Robotic Head Kickstarter Project

And finally, we'd like to send a shout out for a cool Kickstarter project -- the Fritz Robotic Puppet, developed by Xyzbot and our clever friends over at RoboRealm

There's only a few hours left to get in as a backer, so check it out!

Oculus Software Update featuring The Telnet Progamming Interface

Greetings Oculus backers! Those of you who have a penchant for programming will probably be interested in the latest software update. The Telnet Programming Interface has been finalized and documented. With it, cool new capabilities have been added, and you can program Oculus using almost any programming language. As well, Linux support is now more complete. For more information, go here:

Oculus TeleOperator iOS App Released

The Oculus TeleOperator app for iOS is now available for download from iTunes! It is a free app, designed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This version allows one-way audio and video, and snappy, real-time control of the robot and OcuLed headlight. The on-screen controls can be made ‘always visible’ (recommended for the iPad), by selecting ‘More’ from the main menu, and setting the ‘Controls Always Visible’ check box. 

Extended functionality is available by sending Oculus text commands directly—go to the ‘More’ menu, and enter commands in the ‘Send Text Command’ box. A complete reference of commands is listed here.

Android users can download an equivalent version of this app at our google code site.

Wood Robots

Apologies for the delay since our last update; we’ve been busy, diligently doing what we originally set out to do--building robots!  It’s taken a bit longer than we thought to get things rolling smoothly, but we’re humming along now.  We’ve been shipping basic Oculus kits since last month, and plan to start shipping Oculus bots equipped with OcuLED headlights, starting in about a week. Thanks to everyone who is waiting for one or more of these, for your patience.

The wood (birch plywood) models are turning out great--see photo above.  The design requires quite a few minor changes from the ABS plastic, since the wood flexes significantly differently, but we’re pretty happy with them. Who knows, we may even consider offer the material as a standard option... is there a market for wood robots?

Headlight Production Underway

We finally received the 1st-off of our production circuit board for the Oculus Headlight Accessory; here is a shot of it:

Production is now underway on these boards. We tweaked the design of the housing to fit, and here is the finished light:

We've dubbed it the OcuLED Headlight, and we expect to have all the components in stock and ready to start assembly in a few weeks.

We've also settled on a final version of the Xtion Sensor mounting bracket, and are starting production on a small run of them:

We're recommending that only developers/programmers outfit their Oculus with an Xtion sensor, for now: Oculus software support for the device is still only in the alpha stage, and ASUS seems to be still marketing the Xtion towards developers only.
If, having heeded this advice, you're still game to slap on one of these sensors, North Americans can pick up the PRO LIVE at Newegg for a reduced price of $160, and they're available worldwide through ASUS dealers. We're offering the bracket for $16. If you've ordered an Oculus and want to add a bracket to the order, to save a few bucks on separate shipping charges, please LET US KNOW RIGHT AWAY and we'll set you up.

Bot Production Update
We're commencing final assembly on basic Oculus bots in the next couple days, and hope to start shipping in a week!  Bots with lights, including wooden ones, will be shipping next month.