ORIGIBOT is an open-source telepresence robot with an articulated arm


Goodbye, chores! 


With all of this talk about the Internet of Things ushering in a Jetsons-like future, wouldn’t it be great if every household came equipped with their own Rosie the robot as well? Think about it, no more doing the dishes, folding the laundry, fetching drinks or taking out the trash. If it were up to Origin Robotics, we may be closer than you think. That’s because the Miami, Florida startup has launched an Indiegogo campaign for its ORIGIBOT, a fully-robotic platform that pairs with your Android device to perform everyday tasks such as watering plants or to bringing grandma her medicine.

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The ORIGIBOT is a sleek and minimalist robot with a stable base attached to motorized wheels, an arm extension, a mobile device (with a display of up to 10”), as well as a gripper that opens to 7.8cm with a recess to accommodate cans, bottles and cups. The gadget features two-way audio and video, and impressively, complete remote control of its 5 degrees of freedom.

More importantly, the open-source robot was built using off-the-shelf components including standard and high-torque hobby servos, standard T-Slot aluminum framing, and an Atmel based Arduino for control. Its team also reveals that the Arduino sketch will be made available so anyone can customize commands and adjust parameters themselves. ORIGIBOT is powered by a set of NiMh batteries that are capable of providing nearly eight hours of standby time with moderate use. An included charger will safely recharge the batteries in under 4 hours.

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The minimalist body is comprised of sleek aluminum and stainless steel extrusions for functionality and strength, as well as ABS plastic parts that were carefully designed for 3D printing for easy updates and modifications. In fact, all .stl files for the custom components will be available for download so users can modify and print replacements yourself. Meanwhile, ORIGIBOT’s body and arms are just the right length to be unobtrusive while navigating, yet can reach from a few inches off the ground to just above most counters, door knobs, and refrigerator water dispensers.

So, what can the ORIGIBOT do? As the video below demonstrates, the bot is equipped to handle mundane tasks ranging from getting water from the fridge and filling your pets bowl to locking/unlocking deadbolts and retrieving the TV remote. Each of the actions are easily facilitated through an intuitive joystick, which makes maneuvering the household bot as easy as playing an arcade game. In addition, sliders control movements for its arm, wrist and gripper, while tilting the neck forward and backward will enable a user to get a better view of the surrounding environment. Just lift the arm up and down, then turn the wrist to get just the right position. Finally, open and close the gripper to grasp or release.

By leveraging an existing device as its communications hub, display and camera, the Origin Robotics crew was able to create something easy to use and even easier to afford. Ready for a friendly robot in your smart home? ORIGIBOT is live on Indiegogo, where it is currently seeking $18,000.

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