Oculus Autonomous Surveillance Mode

The recently introduced Oculus Telnet Programming Interface allows one to easily devise scripts that give the robot complex autonomous capabilities. We’ve come up with a Python program, that anyone with an Oculus can try, that puts the robot into surveillance mode when parked in the charging dock. Basic functionality is as follows:

  • While docked: run microphone, listen for loud noise
  • If a loud noise is heard: optionally send email alert, then back away from dock, and start up camera
  • Rotate through 360 degrees, stopping occasionally to watch if motion is detected by camera
  • If motion detected: send email alert
  • Return to charging dock
  • Go back into listening mode
  • The un-dock and rotate/motion-detect routine can also be defined to happen periodically, whether or not any sound is heard

If it detects darkness and the OcuLED light is attached, the light will be turned on. If someone logs into the robot via the web or mobile apps, the script will exit and wait until the user is logged out, so there will be no conflict for control.
Sound and motion sensitivity, and other settings, are set as variables at the top of the script.

To give it a try, follow these directions:

  1. Update to the latest Oculus Java Server software via. the remote control web client software update (or download the full OCULUS JAVA package from here)
  2. Install Python if you don’t already have it
  3. Download the program file (right-click and ‘save as’)
  4. Change the USER VARIABLES at the top of the file to the appropriate values (see comments next to each variable for explanation)
  5. Setup your email settings if you haven’t already
  6. Run Oculus Java server on the robot
  7. Once it’s running and Oculus is in the charging dock, run ‘’ on the robot. (It’s difficult to execute a program on the laptop while it’s in the charging dock; you can either run it remotely using VNC or other remote desktop, OR run it while un-docked, login and dock the robot, then logout. The script will wait).

The complete script ‘’ (with syntax highlighting and extensive comments) can be viewed and downloaded from here

Posted by xaxxon on March 13, 2013
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