A telepresence robot, as the name suggests, is supposed to make you feel like you’re physically in a room — even if that room is on the other side of the world. Most manufacturers attempt to faclitate that feat by gluing a stick to a Roomba and placing a tablet on top. That’s fine if you’re a ghost who is used to an ethereal existence without physical interaction, but leaves something to be desired for the rest of us. That’s why the new ORIGIBOT2 has a gripper arm attached, so you can actually manipulate objects remotely.
Origin Robotics, Inc. just launched the ORIGIBOT2 on Indiegogo, which is the successor to their ORIGIBOT telepresence robot that also included a robot arm and gripper. Like the ORIGIBOT, the ORIGIBOT2 has a wheeled base with an upright support where an Android tablet is mounted. On both models, the robot arm and gripper is attached right below that tablet. The companion Android app allows for a remote connection and control with both models. So, what has changed with the ORIGIBOT2?
The body and structure have been redesigned, with the base now having a sleeker 3D-printed base and the upright support switching to strong carbon fiber. The robot arm has an additional wrist tilt action that the original ORIGIBOT was lacking, which gives it a total of seven degrees of freedom — though they’re including the mobile base in that count. For the hackers among you, an Arduino is used for control, and Origin Robotics, Inc. explicitly intends for ORIGIBOT2 to be a hackable robotics platform.
The ORIGIBOT2 Indiegogo campaign is running until December 24th. Early Birds can grab one for $649, and that includes the Android tablet. Rewards are expected to ship in March.