Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Twenty Dollar Telescopic Telepresence Robot for the COVID-safer Classroom

Telescopic Telepresence Robot
Telescopic Telepresence Robot
This is a smartphone running Zoom (or similar), on a tripod, which can be driven remotely across a classroom to collect student comments.

My Ten Dollar Telepresence Robot worked reasonably well, but the camera and microphone are at floor level. I tried installing a telescopic tripod on the car, but this was not stable. A larger remote control car could be used, but I did not have one to hand. So instead I attached small furniture castors to two legs of a $20 camera tripod, and the small remote control car to the third leg. The car acts as a prime over, pulling the tripod around as a trailer. Unfortunately the $10 car only has just sufficient torque to move with a lightweight smartphone on the tripod. The car is designed for speed, and a lower gearing ratio would work better, but the approach seems sound.


  1. I just discovered CBRIN hosted the start-up "MissingSchool" with three wheel telepresence robots for sick kids to attend school virtually:

    1. With older teachers now at risk of COVID-19, perhaps the students could be in the classroom and the teacher remote via a telepresence robot.