Luna: The Personal Telepresence Robot

RoboDynamics has made their latest release: Luna the personal 5’2″ robot capable of telepresence. RoboDynamics, an innovative company that specializes in telepresence, has given Luna an 8 inch LCD touchscreen that makes up her face.

If you’re not already familiar with telepresence then let me fill you in.  What this means is that when you interact with someone, whether it be a screen or, in this case a robot, you get the same interaction as if it were the actual, or an actual, person (sort of like video conferencing).  Awesome features for sure but it will cost you.  Luna will set you back $3000 but is consider a good deal cheaper than other telepresence robots.  Even though that price tag may not attract your common buyer, it might be enough to entice developers.  This brings up a point about the development of Luna.  Luna isn’t just some household robot, it has been designed to be a platform for developers to build off of, making it an open source robot.

The design of Luna was done by SchultzeWorks who gave Luna a glossy white shell and little metal arms.  Luna is stylish looking for sure and she also has some decent hardware.  Luna comes with a 2 GHz processor, an nVidia9000M graphics processor, 8 GB of upgradeable memory, WiFi, and an 8 inch touchscreen.

Other specs include: 3 microphone array, speakers, sweet 3D PrimeSense sensor similar to the Kintects.  She also boasts a pretty impressive battery life coming in at 4-8 hours of up time, and about the same amount of time for recharging.  You’ll also find on the back a carrying handle which, although not as light as your standard vacuum, allows you to carry the 65 lb’s around.

Although Luna so far might seem like the perfect personal robot, that’s not all there is.  Going back to the fact that the main purpose to Luna is a platform, Luna comes with a few handy things for developers.  Luna is equipped with seven expansion ports.  Each of the seven ports includes a USB, 12V and 5V supply and mounting holes.  Hopefully third party developers will make hardware that can easily be purchased and plugged in with minimal difficulty.

As far as software goes, Luna will run what is called the LunaOS and it will be open source.  It will include Poly Linux as well as the Robot Operating System and other packages.  Even with the $3k price tag, Luna may pave the way for future development in personal robotics.

For more cool robots take a look at the Kinect-Controlled Robot and the iPod Touch robot.

Via: Singularity Hub