Mobile Robot: Telepresence
Using the 3pi platform, Bob Rudolph and Tom Eliot built a telepresence robot. The robot allows you to have a remote physical presence anywhere in cell service.
Our telepresence robot is based on the Pololu 3pi platform. We’ve added an ESP8266 wireless module that acts as a TCP client to provide remote control. It connects to the 3pi via serial. The ESP8266 uses the iPhone’s cellular data connection to connect to the internet. The iPhone runs Facetime to provide remote audio and visual.
We control the robot using a server and facetime on a computer. The server is written in Python, it takes keyboard commands and sends TCP packets.
We noticed that inhabiting the robot can cause some interesting effects. Controlling the robot can give the feeling of reduced responsibility, resulting in actions that divert from social norms. The robot lives on the floor, giving the user the perspective of a mouse. Humans and their feet become dangerous. After inhabiting the robot for more than 30 minutes continuously, I became frustrated with the helplessness I felt.
Future improvements could include:
Robot Control Server: robotControl.py
ESP8266 code: TCPClient.ino
Robot code: 3pi code
Chassis: Laser cut files