Instructables
Picture of MAYA Budget Telepresence Rover
Telepresence Robots are robots which allow you to be somewhere you can't physically be, such as being at school while your sick or being at work while your on vacation. While it is amazing technology, most telepresence robots are in the thousands range. Maya, short for Me And You Anywhere, is here to change that. The entire project can be created for under $250 if you have your own netbook or laptop. Maya has something that most telepresence robots in the thousands range do not: It is easily expanded. Change the webcam, the monitor size, the laptop, or add on an arm. The software, RoboRealm, also allows for easy software upgrades such as object recognition and tracking. How is Maya created so cheap? The base! The base is one of those robotic vacuum cleaners also known as a Roomba. It was picked up from ebay for $50 dollars. If you follow the instructions, just about anyone can make it! 

Note: I plan to have kits available this summer... Stay tuned!
 
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Step 1: Overview

We are using an Acer Aspire One A150-1126 as the computer on board, but any netbook/notebook running XP, or Linux/Mac if Wine is installed, should be fine. (ARM Processor's will not work) If you have trouble setting up Wine, contact me or leave a comment. The Computer will have to do 3 things,

1. Control RoboRealm

2. Control the Roomba via the RooStick 3.

3. Run Skype

RoboRealm (http://www.roborealm.com/) is an amazing program which is perfect for this project. It enables you, with some work, to control just about any robot. The files needed for RoboRealm to control the Roomba are here:
http://www.mediafire.com/?8m4feeffoqijmnx NOTE: You must have a License, or the trial, to use these files.

RooStick: It is the conversion from the SCI (Serial Command Interface) Port, or on newer Roombas, ROI (Roomba Open Interface), to USB. NOTE: Same port, different names. It is possible to create your own cord, by hacking a serial to usb cell phone cable. t.com/blog/2006/07/19/roombongle-a-roomba-usb-dongle/ Drivers for RooStick available here: http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/pages/usbtouartbridgevcpdrivers.aspx

Skype: Skype is used to transmit audio. I may switch this up later, but for now it works.

For the webserver to work out of your home network you have to port forward 80, 8080 to your internal IP. (On an Airport Extreme, it's 10.0.1.X. On most other one's it's 192.xxx.xxx.The Webcam used is auto focus which is best for robots. (Rocketfish) If you use a regular webcam, the picture will probably be out of focus a lot. I got it for $20 off of Cowboom.com

Any LCD display, as long as it's not too heavy should work. I got an I-Ink 15" Display form Amazon that weighs about 2 pounds, and was 60 dollars.
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robotmaker2 years ago
i built your design ,fairly easy for me,and like it
made so many different types
looking at you maker fair video interview,i see you are looking at a AI ROBOT DESIGN TYPE ,a great design is the LEAF PROJECT on yahoo groups or leafproject.org,all software is free using LISP and ROBOREALM
it has face and object recognition,tracking,plus it tell jokes,read stuff off the internet,emotions and so much much more
has all software and codes,programming is very easy to learn or getting help from the group and can be adapted to your MAYA robot
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/leaf_an_AI_robot/
keep building alot of robot designs,its alot of fun
FRED
MovieMaker3 years ago
Not to be Ugly. But, I did not understand exactly the Charging mod. could you explain that a little bit. I am kinda dense.

You connect the 22vdc from the AC Adapter directly to the charging dock pins. All mods for charging are done inside the docking station? That is except the lines going to the 12vdc battery which are hooked directly to the 22-12vdc adapter and then to the docking pins? Where do you disconnect the lines that you talk about? in the charging station or in the roomba? You mentioned that some are hooked and some are disconnected.

Sorry for being so dense. I can't really tell from the pix. Sorry :-(

Prompt reply would be appreciated.

P.S. Since the battery did not explode or catch on fire, it seems like we are good to go. I just have to understand. You have done something that some people say cannot be done because of the nature of the way irobot is wired and the heat sensor, etc. But, the proof is in the pudding. If it works for you, and it evidently has, I am going to try it.

Thanks, Great project.
bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
Ok.

Lets start from the wall outlet. Connected to the wall outlet is a 22v charger which supplies 3A. (The Roomba charger supplies 1.2 so it would take longer to charge. Doable, but longer)

Its connected to the charger. When I tried to draw extra power the dock would flick on and off. So, without disconnecting the internal circuitry like the IR which the Roomba needs to find the dock, I disconnected the circuit boards connectivity to the docking pads, and added a connection from the barrel jack to the docking pads. So, the docking pads are always 22v.

Then, connected to the docking pads is a 22-12 DC-DC Converter. Its connected to the docking pads ALSO. (So the roomba still gets power like usual)

Then, the battery and everything else is connected to the output.

Thanks!

Ben
Thanks for the quick reply. And, congratulations on being a 2nd place winner.
this robot project, or rather, its Creator, has just become a National Broadcom MASTERS Science Fair finalist -- one of 30 projects nationwide
bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
Thanks! If you PM me, I'll give you my email if you need any further help.
One more Question. I am going to run a kinect unit, a speaker system and a notebook all on a 12vdc battery.

I guess I have to hook the 12dc battery directly to the contacts of the roomba?
bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
Nope. You hook the 22-12 DC DC converter right to the contacts. (Technically 24-12 but it converts 20 to 28) You hook the input of the dc-dc converter to the docking pads, and the OUTPUT (which should read 12v) to the battery.

The Roomba charges on 22 volts fyi.

That's right. But, I mean I connect the dc to dc converter directly to the docking pads. What all does that involve? Do I have to take the whole thing apart. Or, is it easy to get to? And, we are talking about the roomba not the charger. Also, I have it all built up and tall now. It is going to be hard to get to the roomba without totally disassembling the robot.
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bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
I was able to connect aligator clip jumper cables from Radioshack to the docking pads. (So I didn't need to open it up. I just wedged them into the side. If you don't get it, I can send you a picture. Not the optimal way, but it works.

The battery posts connect to the battery. So the 12v would be drawing power from the battery...
One more question: when you said:

here is the solution. I took the barrel jack and I disconnected the board's connection to the dock, and went from the barrel jack straight to the docking pads. (Wires go to the circuitry inside and to the docking pads, but not from the circuity to the docking pads.

Are you talking about the board's connection to the dock on the roomba or on the docking station.

Sorry to be so dense.
bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
No problem! I am talking about inside the dock. If you open it up, theres a single pcb containing the dock's circuitry. Previously, the barrel jack was connected to the circuitry and the circuitry was connected to the docking pads. I took the barrel jack DIRECTLY to the docking pads.
Thanks for the reply.
Which 12volt battery did you use? I just bought a jetski battery that is very good and high quality. Except that when i put it on, it is too heavy for the roomba. So, that does not work. It works fine on my other heavier duty robot.
robotmaker3 years ago
and do you have a model # of i-ink display,all the ones i see at I-INKUSA.COM is over 4 lbs and all 120 volts
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
http://www.amazon.com/IK161ABB-16-13x7-600-Widescreen/dp/B003HR0SVE
not bad monitor but over 2 lbs ,5.5 lbs
would be better to use the built in laptop monitor ,because of lower current ,plus lower weight and cost
check out TURTLEBOT it does use ROS witch is better at navigation and can add many upgrades like SERVO controls ,sensors and so much more
ROBOREALM IS A GREAT software ,not as good as ROS
ONLY PROBLEM IS ROS is LINUX version
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
The monitor is under 1 pound, even less without the AC adapter. I've weighed it myself.

may be the company has the weight wrong,i am getting one to try
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
let me know how it goes!
mine weight 3.8 lbs
compusa has it for same price too,might check it out,also 14 inch $49
instead of IK161 its IK141
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
about the servos, look at the last slide. I added an arm.
MovieMaker3 years ago
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(removed by author or community request)
bhylak (author)  MovieMaker3 years ago
There are screws on the back of the dock, and under the rubber feet.
robotmaker3 years ago
mosfet just handles 4 amps ,but problem i found out that there is no heatsink and it does get hot ,using double the power 4 amps compare to 1.5 amps
so over time plastic will melt,my design uses 2 roomba batteries and special charging design,i am gettimnng to sell them ,biut working on patent first
there is 2 ways to fix this,one use a higher wattage mosfet or remove mosfet and add heatsink and wite to board
alays better to add a heatsink so latter on plastic wont melt ,it does come next to the plastic
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
I have not had this problem and have been using them for a while.

I'll look into adding some cooling.

ANOTHER GOOD SPOT for great info and schematic i am been using for a couple of years is robotreviews.com and guy named gordon did a great schematic on part of the design
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
Yes, I'm a member.
better to be safe then sorry,when i check it with temperature meter it did go up to 125 deg at 6 hours longer it will go higher
robotmaker3 years ago
i build a lot of roomba designs,how are you charging a 14.4 volt battery with 12 volts ,will have some problems,roomba circuit design has a built in charging design using a cpu and other components to monitor and charge the battery,plus roomba battery have a temperature device in battery
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
I am not charging it with 12 volts. I am converting the 22 which is the Roombas input to 12v FOR the 12v battery.
ok that will work,but heat will be a problem,havent look at the roomba base unit circuit to see if i can reverse engineer it,would be a lot easy to hook up 22 volts 4 amps to jack ,instead of charging jacks,i am thinking there is a current limit control in homebase causing it to go off and on
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
thats why I did a work around. All is well and good.
robotmaker3 years ago
the correct way is to modify the circuit ,by changing the mosfets to a higher current to handle 4 amps and few changes on circuit board,then from the battery output use 12 volt to 19 volt laptop adapter,same they have for using laptops in cars,then you use 22 volt 4 amp charger to charge all of them
bhylak (author)  robotmaker3 years ago
The mosfets are fine under the 4 amps so far.

btw you basically repeated the process. The laptop uses a car adapter now. And so does the monitor. (Yep, got lucky on that one)
zazenergy3 years ago
This sounds really cool! You seem to have copied your text from an HTML file -- I would highly recommend fixing the formatting so that it's easier to read.
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