The RP2W (Remote Presence 2-Way) is a remote presence robot which allows professionals in different geographical locations to teleconference and establish a remote presence via a mobile robot. Real-time video allows for detailed viewing and audio of the surroundings. The robot allows mobility within the workplace. The robot, made by SuperDroid Robots Inc. has two-way video, two way-audio, contact and non-contact sensors, and battery monitoring. All of this is accomplished using wireless technology. The robot is controlled from a remote location using a personal computer and a gamepad.
We have made several different version of this robot. The basic idea always is the same, just different chassis are used. The RP2W has a stable platform. The left and right motors are independently controlled allowing pivot turns and full maneuverability. The motors are controlled by the remote user with a gamepad controller that utilizes SuperDroid Robots RP2W custom robot control software. The other joystick of the gamepad controls the camera. The camera has a full 360+ degree pan and 110+ degree tilt. Using the gamepad D-Pad the user can trim (incrementally position) the camera or use the joystick and move the camera rapidly to see throughout the room. The current design allows the camera to look down so it can view the monitor and the base of the robot. We are currently producing Generation 4 RP2W robots. Generation 4 incorporates an onboard laptop that you connect to your wireless network just as you would connect any wireless notebook or PC. Then you run our newly updated .NET application and the robot is ready to connect to any PC in the world connected to the internet using the client .NET application. With the sensors, the remote user will be able to determine the distance of any object in front of or behind them. The generation 4 RP2W robot is also be equipped with a front contact bumper switch at the base to detect low-lying obstacles. The front bumper and sensor will stop forward motion. The front sonar sensor will stop forward motion and the rear sonar sensor will stop reverse motion. The sensors and bumper switch can be remotely overridden if necessary.
The robot is controlled through the office/remote location using a WiFi 802.11b/g network. The robot's office router then allows the remote user to port through to the robot from the internet. SuperDroid Robots RP2W control software establishes a connection to the robot so the remote user can command and control the robot and view the camera. If for any reason the remote connection is interrupted or broken the robot will detect the lost connection and safely stop driving. The robot will resume when the connection is re-established.
The aluminum robot chassis is laser cut, CNC bent and welded construction. The robot wheels and axles are supported by sealed ball bearings yielding very smooth operation with minimal maintenance. The robot is power with large sealed gel cell batteries and can be sized to give up to 8+ hours of operation. The robot has a charging jack on the back of the robot that can be used to automatically charge the robot or run it on AC power during long meetings, idle time, or after hours it can be plugged into the wall and charged without the need to turn it off. The laptop on the robot is run from its own batteries and will last from 3-5 hours. The laptop is charged using the robots charging port. As an additional option the robot's laptop can be charged off of the main batteries.
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For information on setting up the remote telepresense robot and general operation of the RP2W we have prepared a series of instructional videos available on YouTube.
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