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Grasp telepresence robot puts a remote teacher on your shoulder

February 25, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Colin Jeffrey / Gizmag

The familiar cartoon meme where an angel sits on someone's shoulder and a devil on another, both giving advice in the person's ear is one we all know. But what if you were able to have a real adviser sitting on your shoulder while learning a new task that not only offered advice but oversaw and guided your actions as well? The Grasp telespresence robot is designed to do just that.


Consisting primarily of a webcam, a speaker, a microphone, and a remotely-controlled laser pointer, the shoulder-perching Grasp robot prototype is designed to provide a link between someone learning a new skill or updating an old one and a remote teacher. Whether it be learning to play a musical instrument, repairing electronic equipment, or even performing surgery, the whole idea is to provide a first-person view to allow interaction between instructor and pupil.

Utilizing inbuilt Arduino control electronics, the user can converse with a distant instructor via a Wi-Fi internet link or on a phone. The instructor can then offer advice and instructions in real-time whilst also being able to control a movable laser pointer via a screen-based joystick to highlight specific areas or call out and identify objects.

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