More iRobot Create video, following the previous story about hamsters driving it. Someone else has adapted iRobot's new programmable bot to go to the fridge, open the door, and fetch a beer (or in this case, a soft beverage). Now that's progress. Watch the video below, then click on the link below to read more about the bot itself.
I grabbed iRobot's John Billington to find out more about iRobot Create, which was just announced today. The base pack costs $129.99, although the idea is that users would then buy various add-ons depending on what they want to program it to do.
"It enables people to do whatever they want quickly and easily without having to develop a robot from scratch," he says. "It comes with a serial cable to connect to your computer, and there's some pre-programmed demos to show what you can do with it. But the real programming comes with the Command Module accessory, which lets you write C code or C++ code, compile it down and you have a fully autonomous robot."
There are also expansion ports to plug in attachments, such as the arm in the video above. If you're interested, the hamster one works by using a laser mouse to track the ball's movement, and translate it into movements for the robot. So is there a big market for this?
"The robot market right now is really hot," says Billington. "There's a lot of people who come to a company like iRobot saying we should make this robot or that robot, so now we're helping them to make that a reality. There's getting more and more activity around robots, with the clubs and so on."