Looking for a great, inexpensive way to develop your own telepresence robot? You should really check out the Oculus from Xaxxon. This robot is an elegant offering that allows 'geeks' of all abilities to play and explore robotics. The primary function is telepresence, however with some added sensors and software, you can quickly develop functionality not offered on any other telepresence robot. A fantastic option available for Oculus is RoboRealm’s™ vision software.
This PC-based software will allow Oculus to have computer vision, allowing object recognition and the ability to autonomously navigate in its environment to avoid obstacles. Or if you’re looking to add 3D vision, you can try adding the Asus Xtion PRO or PRO Live sensors. These sensors are similar to the Microsoft Kinect™ , but in a more compact design. Coupling with Willow Garage’s Rviz software, you will have the ability to map a room and further enhance autonomy.
Be careful though, since this module is still in development mode, it’s not for the faint of heart. Since their launch in early 2012, the crew at Xaxxon have been working on a second version, “Oculus Prime.” Which will include a higher capacity battery, 4-wheel drive, and an x86 architecture for Linux/Windows. They are also testing 3G functionality, so you can expect this to be a optional feature on the original Oculus.