How to make a tabletop telepresence robot to beam yourself into meetings

Having a face to chat to and seeing their responses has been found to be better for working with people and building work relationships. This is a nice relatively cheap hack that you can do to make sure your coworkers know you’re there, at least electronically, while facilitating working offsite or remotely as needed.

TED Blog

rmt4kI manage TED’s online community from my home on the West Coast, and while many of my interactions are with people based all over the world, the majority of my colleagues are based across the country at TED HQ in New York City. As anyone who works remotely knows, attending meetings as a giant videoconferencing head-on-the-wall isn’t nearly as much fun as having a real seat at the table. So I started thinking.

The obvious solution would be to get hold of a telepresence robot. That’s the technology that allowed Edward Snowden to trundle onto stage at TED2014. But those are expensive, and I love trying to build things myself. I had an iPad with FaceTime, and I thought I might be able to use it to get a seat at the conference table.

Thus, after much garage tinkering, allow me to introduce…  the Rotate-mo-tron 4000! With this handy little ‘bot, I’m able to control the…

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