Build Your Own Telepresence Robot For $500

Remember that Vgo telepresence robot for the kid that couldn't go to school? The one that cost the school $6000 plus $1200 a year service contract? Well, a hacker by the name Johnny Chung Lee has come up with a way to create his own telepresence robot that's a whole lot more affordable. His hack robot is made from relatively cheap components including a netbook and an iRobot, each costing $250, plus an acrylic stand. Watch the video after the cut for full directions on making your own.

Johnny Chung Lee made this creation due to having to leave his partner temporarily due to work relocation. This was a simple way–for hackers at least–to maintain a presence at home. Using a netbook on top provided a nice large screen and made it easy to use the freely available Skype video conferencing software.

The base is a hack of an iRobot so it probably wont be able to traverse anywhere beyond the house. But compared to the telepresence robots in the thousands of dollars, this hack alternative is an awesome way of putting together affordable and existing technologies to achieve similar functionality. Now wouldn't be neat if it could still vacuum at the same time?

[Via Make]