Platform for telepresence robot

I was recently recruited to advise a club where the students want to build a telepresence robot. They have about $1500 in funding and are trying to decide on a suitable platform.

I’m only “slightly” biased toward Vex, but wanted to see what others’ thoughts are. In its simplest form, I could see building a tall chassis with an atttached tablet with speaker’s face which locomotes around campus, seeking out life forms and avoiding obstacles. But at some point, it would be nice if the tablet and control system on the chassis could communicate. Is this practical with the cortex? If not, is there another system you would recommend?

There are some programmers in the club, but it doesn’t appear that the members have much experience with hardware or control.

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