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Internet-controlled Robots Anyone can Build

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new series of robots that are simple enough for almost anyone to build with off-the-shelf parts, but are sophisticated machines that wirelessly connect to the Internet. The press release says that the robots can take many forms, from a three-wheeled model with a mounted camera to a flower loaded with infrared sensors. They can be easily customized and their ability to wirelessly link to the Internet allows users to control and monitor their robots’ actions from any Internet-connected computer in the world.

The new tools that make this possible are a single piece of hardware and a set of “recipes” that people follow to build their ’bots. Both are part of the Telepresence Robot Kit (TeRK) developed by Associate Professor of Robotics Illah Nourbakhsh and members of his Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab. Their goal is to make highly capable robots accessible and affordable for college and pre-college students, as well as anyone interested in robots.

At the heart of each TeRK robot is a unique controller called Qwerk that combines a computer with the software and electronics necessary to control the robot’s motors, cameras and other devices. Qwerk, developed by the CREATE Lab and Charmed Labs of Austin, Texas, also connects the robot automatically and wirelessly to the Internet so it can be controlled by any Internet-connected computer. Read On……

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