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A Fully Programmable Mobile Robot 86

Posted by kdawson
from the aye,-robot dept.
paxmaniac writes "iRobot has announced Create: a new fully programmable mobile robot based on the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. People have been hacking the Roomba since the day it came out. Well, hacking just got a whole lot easier. A command module for the Create provides a programmable 8-bit Atmel micro controller, four DB-9 ports for your own sensors, and a number of sample programs that can be compiled and uploaded to the command module via USB. Botmag has more details and some cool applications. This looks like the perfect robotics platform for hobbyists, schools, and universities alike."
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A Fully Programmable Mobile Robot

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  • realdoll (Score:2, Funny)

    by eneville (745111) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:25PM (#17530534) Homepage

    so... is this going to merge with the realdoll project?
  • really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:30PM (#17530626) Homepage
    This looks like the perfect robotics platform for hobbyists, schools, and universities alike.

    I thought that was the ED-209?
  • Re:realdoll (Score:3, Funny)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:37PM (#17530762) Journal
    Yes, you can now by flat, disc shaped RealDolls for your Roomba, which will no doubt thank you profusely. It also keeps the little bastards from hopping the fence into the neighbors yard in order to hook up with other Roombas or harassing the toaster when no Roomba companionship can be found. No one like to come home and find their vacuum cleaner humping the kitchen appliances.
  • by Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:42PM (#17531806) Homepage Journal
    Human-like robots are a nice dream, and I understand that people are still working on them.
    But there is an advantage to Roomba-type robots: they are cute.
    The same sci-fi that makes androids look plausible can make them look scary. If they clearly can do anything we can, and they have AI minds of their own, how do we know they won't turn on us? And if they look like persons, then we can easily imagine them acting like persons. We're not doing much toward Asimov's Three Laws yet--hey, even then there's a risk that a robot will discover the Zeroth Law and use it in ways we object to--so any true humanoid robot might feel risky.
    Roombas are attractive mobile discs. They clearly are functional; the ones that know how and when to go to their charging stations are getting smart. But they are small, they don't look scary, and they don't look like people. Hey, you can push most of them aside with your foot (obviously excluding the little disc lawnmower), and we haven't (yet) built one that can climb stairs or dares try. So people feel safe around them.
    If androids try to take over the world, humanity will be shooting them down or hitting their off switches quickly. If all the Roombas tried to take over the world, most of us humans won't even realize it at first, and we'll be very surprised when we do figure out what's going on.
  • by MrP- (45616) <rob@eli[ ]rp.net ['tem' in gap]> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @06:52PM (#17531960) Homepage
    Looked cool.. then I saw the hamster robot..

    I bought the $299 kit, I'm sooo building a hamster robot!

    Mine will have high power laser weapons though, it will destroy all of you!

    Now I have to buy a hamster.

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