This has by far been the best setup for me because it gives me the benefit of Ubuntu (eg. awesome repo) but with a FUNCTIONAL deskop that is nearly identical to the glory days of 10.04. I've tried Cinamon, XFCE, had a peek at KDE, but it just wasn't the same. I've grown so attached to the 10.04 desktop, having used it at work for nearly 4 years. Setting up the Ambiance theme like in 10.04 was a bit of a pain in the ass due to GTK themes being broken left right and centre (FIX THAT SHIT NOW!). Here is what I found worked. Install crunchy-orange theme, but select the default Mate Ambiance theme, then customise and manually set Controls/Window Border to crunchy-orange and icons to Humanity.
I had a chance to see a similar model from Shadow at IROS2008 (big robotics conference) in France and spoke to the sales rep. I remember he quoted the demo hand to be around 100k British pounds (yes, 6 figures!). Had to be one of the most expensive price/weight thing I've ever got to touched.
I actually did this for my thesis. I built a quake like 3D model of the environment using an expensive laser range scanner. The robot has enough geometric and photometric information it needs to perform localisation and path planning. This type of problem where you have the map before hand is generally called "global localisation" and is easier than the Simultanous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) problem, where you don't have a map prior.
One of the sensors used in Natal is a 3D camera, developed by 3DVsystems, which they bought out. I was a conference about 2 years ago and saw some Korean PhD students using it for 3D reconstruction. Have a search on google for ZCAM (www.3dvsystems.com). The videos are quite impressive. Unfortunately, they weren't selling any because it was apparently still in development, so they said. When I emailed them about cost, they said they expect to sell it for a few hundred dollars and target home user. My supervisor was interested because it would have been very useful for robotic applications. There aren't any affordable sensors on the market than I'm aware of that can capture range and colour information in real-time. A small laser range finder already cost at least $2000.