Internship: Telerobotics in the workplace

An increasing number of people is working from home on a regular basis or even has a job that only requires them to visit an office occasionally. The fact that there is no commute results in reduced travel expenses and more importantly a reduced carbon footprint and environmental impact. Employees who work from home can achieve a more healthy work-life balance which results in less absence. And finally there is the much heard claim that working from home leads to increased employee productivity.

However, there is a downside. A couple of years ago Yahoo! was in the news for prohibiting working from home altogether. The management observed a lower company moral due to lesser social interaction. And as for the increased productivity for the employee working from home; isn’t this at the expense of their accessibility and thus the productivity of the company as a whole?

Your assignment is to solve the disadvantages of working from home by using telerobotics. This technology (a combination of a remote controlled robot and teleconference/telecommunication) allows to give a better sense of remote physical presence for communication and collaboration while working from home. This improves the ability to communicate among which is the lack of social interaction. You can even participate in a chat around the coffeemachine!.

Your assignment is to design and create a system for telepresence to be used in our offices. In any event it means creating the software for a client to communicate and control the remote physical presence and the software to operate the robot itself.

Building a physical prototype telerobot could be part of the assignment.

Depending on your education the emphasis could be more on the software part and/or on building a prototype telerobot.

Does this assignment appeal to you? Please contact Jorg Hollenberg,