The new Care-O-bot 4

This is the new Care-O-bot is now configurable and still compatible with ROS. It has been given a modern look with newer features.

This fourth generation has many of the features available on Willow Garage’s PR2 and it has the same intelligence as the PR2 given it’s on the ROS platform. It has learnt from PR2 that you can’t sell the entire robot as it’s too expensive. It has the options to purchase the robot with different configuration depending on your budget. Something worth looking into, given it’s german built.

RAPIRO – the latest addition to Kickstarter Robots

Raripo is the creation of Shota Ishiwatari. This is yet another low cost robot like the 3D printed robot – MAKI. It’s a pretty cute robot (rather small) with 12 motors and LED for effects. It runs off a Raspberry Pi and has a camera and PSD distance sensor to add to the ability to the robot. This is one of the first Raspberry Pi projects for robotics. Pledge £199 and you get yourself a robot with all the parts you need by the end of the year. He has already reached his goal with his kickstarter robot.

One interesting aspect of this project is that he will provide the STL 3D files that you can use for printing another set of the robot. The 3D printable robots are coming and it’s a very good idea given the microprocessors and computers are readily available almost everywhere in the world. There is no need to look for a manufacturer to get your parts made (high risk) and this is made to order which reduces the logistical problems.

BarBots are Serving Drinks

Bartending is never easy, even the many different kinds of cocktails and concoctions you have to remember.  On top of that, the amount of each liquid used makes or breaks a drink. The webtender is a site with all the recipes for the different cocktails you can find that every bartender might need. Sounds difficult for a human but say, we give this job to a robot..

Barbot 2013 is an annual showcase of robots that are designed to make and serve drinks. It’s great to see the different ideas that have been used to make these drink and the reward is a good cocktail always!! why not. It’s far more interesting than working on a dish washing robot.

Neato’s New Signature Robot

Neato is always under my radar due to it’s low-cost hackable LIDAR that came with the XV-11. It came with a 360 degrees scanning LIDAR with 1 degree accuracy and 10Hz scanning speed. This is a entire website dedicated to getting the xv11 to run under ROS. They have recently launched the XV Signature series. It looks really nice with it’s all black casing but even better still is the fact that this new Neato has 50% more suction power with the same hardware and specification.

Honestly, i am not really concerned about the vacuuming but i am rooting for Neato to build better, faster and more efficient low-cost solutions to the navigation ability to this robot. Hopefully, this will be a general base one day where we can hack it to sweep, mop, fetch and cook at very affordable prices.

 

 

Building Robot Given the Lack of Technology

Robot interaction is still something unclear to us. The basic mode of communicate in a society is through speech and this is hard for a robot given the ability of current speech recognition technology and natural language understanding. If only Siri really worked for people of all nation and in every context.

Service robotics is a growing trend globally given the aging situation in developed countries. Who doesn’t want a robot in his/her home called Rosie? But the reality is that we don’t have the technology to build a Rosie yet. Given that fact, how should we instruct or interact with robots?

This article in WSJ covers this in detail.

 

Kinect Guru’s New Robot Project

Garratt Gallagher has done many hacks for the Kinect. He won first place in the Kinect/ROS competition. He’s started a KickStarter project – Bilibot. It’s a iRobot Create with the Kinect as a sensor for navigating the robot around.  Kinect is a great tool and there are still competitors on the market hopeful to get a bite of the pie. They have changed their business model from selling products to being OEM for consumer product manufacturers. There’s a lot of prospect in this area given how microsoft has brought down the cost to this level. The rules of competition is different and the consumers are there to reap the rewards of this battle. Can’t wait.

The new Kinect will hopefully push cheap robots to a higher level of competence.

Hizook has covered this story in detail.