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There are a number of these desktop robots floating around these days that turn your camera-equiped mobile phone into a telepresence rig. Helios is the brainchild of two Princeton students, Tianlong Wang and Xinyi Chen.

Each of the MAKE editors who will be at the Faire has a beat assigned for the upcoming World Maker Faire (Sept 29 & 30). Mine is robotics. I’m looking forward to seeing the Helios and talking to Tianlong and Xinyi about their bot. They’re about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise money and to offer Helios pre-orders, for $99. On my robotics beat at Maker Faire Bay Area I saw a similar robot, Claire Delaunay’s Botiful, designed for Android phones. The Helios is for iPhones. Amusingly enough, even I thought I’d dreamed up this idea last Christmas and started making drawings and talking to people about it, then I did a web search and discovered there were already a number of them (and none of them were the Helio or the Botiful).

There will be plenty of other cool robot creations at World Maker Faire. Are you going? We hope to see you there!

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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