About this project
Give a netbook an exciting new life: turn it into a ROBOT!
Oculus is "opening up telepresence technology to people" - Gizmag.com
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.
Oculus consists of an adjustable frame that holds a variety of small laptops (aka 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, and you can control it over the internet using any PC web browser, iOS or Android device.
- 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 works on Windows 7, Vista and XP operating systems, and with most distributions of Linux.
The frame fits most laptops/netbooks with 10" screens 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.
If you're unsure if your laptop is compatible, just send us a message and we'll let you know right away! And if you don't already have a netbook, you can usually get a new one for only $200.
The Oculus Headlight Accessory: dual Cree LED headlight, remotely-selectable brightness. Allows navigation, surveillance, and automatic-docking in complete darkness
ArduinOculus: the open-hardware microcontroller developed for Oculus is Arduino compatible, with built-in circuitry for powering DC-motors as well as servos. It's available as a separate reward for general robotics and RC applications. See here for more info
RoboRealm® Computer Vision Software
The stock Oculus software is pretty full featured and awesome by itself. But, we're excited to announce that RoboRealm, the popular, industrial strength, computer vision software application, recently added support for the Oculus robot! If installed on the netbook, it can be used instead-of or along-with the stock Oculus software, adding a mind-bogglingly-large array of computer vision and autonomous navigation tools.
We're offering it, bundled with Oculus as one of our reward levels, at an exclusive reduced price - this is a great option for computer vision enthusiasts.
The ABS plastic Oculus frame uses our innovative, sturdy snap together fabrication method - we plan to source the 40+ laser cut and NC-routered structural components, that go into an Oculus frame and dock, from our local suppliers. The custom PCBs are sourced from China, and we'll be doing the full assembly and testing of each Oculus in-house.
WITH YOUR SUPPORT, we can order everything in large enough quantities to get the total price of Oculus down to a level that can put a sophisticated robot on the market for a very affordable price. You'll also be giving us the means to complete the development of our headlight accessory, and pour more work into the software, including launching the iPhone and iPad apps.
At Xaxxon Technologies our goal is to produce affordable robotic devices that anyone can use; to get innovative robotics out of the research labs, and into your hands.
Thanks for your support!
Yes! Oculus audio and video is compressed and broadcast using technology similar to what YouTube uses. Remote driving control is snappy, typically in near real-time.
On average you can actively drive around for 2 hours or more before returning to the charging dock. It depends entirely on the battery capacity of the netbook: Oculus runs solely off the netbook's power, supplied through a USB port. The drivetrain is designed to be very efficient. Surprisingly, driving and streaming video doesn't drain the battery much more than regular netbook use.
Yes! We've spent a lot of time honing the software for reliability. Correctly configured systems can be left running, waiting for remote control, for long periods without requiring hands-on attention.
Yes! The Oculus software supports logins from a single "driver," and one or more "passengers" who are along for the ride, seeing the same video/audio stream. There is even a chat function so you can group-text each other.
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