DORA: Telepresence Robot with Virtual Reality

DORA (Dextrous Observational Roving Automaton) is a four-wheeled robot designed to explore the environments in a more useful way by combining both telepresence and virtual reality.

The focus of this project is not the mobility of the platform. The focus is to recreate the experience of being in another place. A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania works at this project using affordable components such as sensors and actuators. Using affordable components, the roboticists offers a reasonable cost for a high-end telepresence system such as DORA. Using the virtual reality provided by Oculus Rift, now you can explore a wide range of environments, see, and hear through a robotic surrogate.

Oculus Rift tracks the motion of your head in all six degrees of freedom and display images in front of your eyes at a frame rate higher than you can detect. The wheeled platform duplicates these motions by moving around the real world. This combination of virtual reality technology and robotics creates you the experience of a remote place so deeply that you will forget that you are not actually there.

Immersive telepresence is much more difficult than what a simple telepresence robot such as Double or Beam can provide you. These robots cannot create a sense of immersion. These can only provide sound and videos on a tablet or a computer screen.

The immersive telepresence has to be close to reality. It should fill your brain with a sophisticated experience, much more than a pan/tilt head that can stream video audio to your tablet or computer. DORA is engineered for complicated and sophisticated experience.

DORA: The Future of Telepresence
DORA: The Future of Telepresence from DORA on Vimeo.


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