ORIGIBOT: 3D Printed and WebRTC-Enabled Telepresence Robot to Launch Tomorrow on Indiegogo
The ORIGIBOT, a fully robotic platform which connects with an Android tablet or phone via a free app built by Origin Robotics, Inc., is “a complete telepresence solution.”
So what are we talking about here? A robot arm capable of opening your refrigerator, showing you the contents and then bringing you an ice-cold beverage, that’s what.
The creators say the system allows a user to connect remotely to an ORIGIBOT from most any device which can run a Firefox or Chrome browser through a secure cloud service. The system uses WebRTC technology, a free, open project meant to provide browsers and mobile applications with “real-time communications” capabilities through a relatively simple set of APIs. WebRTC is supported by Google, Mozilla, and Opera, and the web interface from ORIGIBOT doesn’t require additional plugins or java applets.
And not only do you get two-way audio and video with the ORIGIBOT, but you also have complete control of a mobile robotic platform, arm, and gripper.
The makers of this device, Origin Robotics, Inc., call their invention an “affordable Telepresence Robot with Gripper,” and they’re launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign tomorrow, February 17th, to raise capital. If they meet their goal, Origin Robotics says the ORIGIBOT will ship with an updated tab let mount that will accommodate any Android phone or tablet with up to a 10″ display.
The ORIGIBOT is composed, for the most part, of aluminum extrusions arranged so that a user can reach objects from a few inches off the ground to just above the height of most counters, door knobs, and refrigerator water dispensers. They add that the ABS plastic parts needed to complete the design were designed for 3D printing to allow for easy updates and parts modification.
As for the details, the company says the ORIGIBOT gripper opens to 7.8 cm and was designed with a recess to accommodate cans, bottles, and cups. A set of motorized wheels are mounted at the bottom of the device to “provide great stability — even when carrying payloads.”
“Simple controls via our secure cloud app make controlling ORIGIBOT child’s play,” they say. “Simply login from any device running Firefox or Chrome browser — and supporting WebRTC — and access your ORIGIBOT. The intuitive joystick control makes maneuvering ORIGIBOT as easy as playing an arcade game. Control the base forward, backward, turn left, turn right, and stop. Sliders control movements for the Neck, Arm, Wrist and Gripper. Tilt the neck forward and backward to get a better view of the environment. Lift the arm up and down, then turn the wrist to get just the right position. Open and close the gripper to grasp or release.”
They add that ORIGIBOT was built using off-the-shelf components including standard and high-torque hobby servos, standard T-Slot aluminum framing, and an Arduino board for the control infrastructure.
All the custom components are 3D printed and, should the campaign be successful, the .stl files will be available for download to allow for modification and printing of replacement parts. An Arduino sketch will also be available to allow for hacks and the creation of custom commands and parameters buy users.
The makers do include a bit of a warning, if you will, about the status of the product.
“Keep in mind, ORIGIBOT is not a polished consumer electronics product, but a fully functional robotic test platform,” they say.
As for what the device can do at this point, Origin Robotics says it’s possible “to water your plants, bring Grandma her meds, get water from the fridge, fill your pet’s bowl, lock or unlock deadbolts, open doors, or patrol your home or office.”
“Out of the box, ORIGIBOT is a full featured Telepresence system,” they say. “Just pair your Android tablet to ORIGIBOT via Bluetooth and slip it into the tablet holder. No complicated firewall settings on your home’s network needed. Now just connect from any remote device with your secure login and instantly, you’re connected with and in full control of ORIGIBOT. Not only do you have two-way audio and video, but also full control of the robotic platform, arm, and gripper.”
An included set of NiMh batteries provide about 8 hours of standby time with moderate use and Origin Robotics says an included charger will safely recharge the batteries in under 4 hours and that they’ll recharge for more than 1000 cycles.
Once the unit is ready for retail sale, it will carry an $899 price tag for the full unit with arm — but if you look to Indiegogo to support the crowdfunding, as an early bird backer you could get that same unit with arm for just $599 or $699, depending how early you sign up to contribute.
What do you think of the ORIGIBOT? Will you sign on to buy one through their Indiegogo campaign? Let us know in the ORIGIBOT 3D Printed Telepresence forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out a video of ORIGIBOT, as well as some more specs and backer rewards, below.
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