May 12, 2011 weblog
iRobot planning an Android-based robot
(PhysOrg.com) -- iRobot is working on robots that have the brains of an Android tablet. The goal is an Android-based tablet that is able to see the world around it, hear input from humans, respond and think about the next task that needs to be done. These robots will be somewhere between the super-advanced military grade robots developed by organizations such as DARPA and the Roomba sitting under your sofa. This is good news that the goal to create these mid-range robots is one that they hope to achieve in our lifetime.
iRobot CEO Colin Angle showed off a prototype robot at the Google I/O show. The robot, which has been named AVA, will actually be on the market and available to the developers who are interested, at an as yet unknown date this year.
The AVA robot works by grafting an Android tablet onto a mobile style of robot body that looks a lot like a pillar with a wide wheelbase. That base then attaches to a Motorola Xoom tablet that is not only the brains of the robot, but its sensor array. The robot is able to make maps of the areas that it navigates, as well as avoiding both stationary and moving objects, with a speed of up to 2 meters per second.
The developers used an Android-based tablet because it had what they needed, but according to sources close to the project, that they are open to working with other types of tablet PCs. Business oriented versions of the robots are expected to go on sale next year.
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