With more and more people staying at home, separated friends, family, and business associates, telepresence meetings have become the new normal. Unfortunately — unlike actually being there — you’re mostly at the mercy of the remote cameraperson on the other end, who may not be paying close attention to the situation. To solve this problem, Ross Atkin and team are now crowdfunding an inexpensive DIY telepresence robot called Smartipresence.
Smartipresence is built on the successful Smartibot cardboard robot kit, reusing the circuit board, motors and battery. For its new telepresence application, it adds in a holder for the phone, and another motor to enable it to tilt up and down. The result is a device that far away users can drive like a much more expensive telepresence robot. You can invite people “over” by sending a link to virtually hang.
Pledges start at around $6 for 10 hours of access to the telepresence system, allowing you to create your own device based on the Smartibot. Higher pledge levels are available for an expansion kit, full kit, or even two for around $130 so you can have your own telepresence party. Smartipresence can be customized in any number of ways, whether integrated into a 3D-printed monster truck chassis, toy train, motorized duck, or anything else you can think of. With this neat little robot, you'll be able to “meet” with others in your own unique fashion.