66% or better

Inexpensive robot platform combines mass-produced parts

Meet Bilibot, a modular robot that aims to lower the cost of entry for robotic tinkerers. It combines the Kinect, the iRobot Create, and an Ubuntu box running ROS using some laser cut mounting brackets. These are relatively inexpensive components but the most exciting thing is that there’s already a slew of example out there that use this hardware. For instance, we looked in on ROS body tracking in January that can be directly plucked and used with this hardware. You’ll recognize the base as the iRobot create which was used in video chat robot from last week. The brains of the operation come in a choice of three Linux boxes – two headless and one laptop – which have ROS pre-installed. Watch the open-source autonomy as it tools around the office in the video after the break.

[Thanks David via Hizook]

Comments

  1. GameboyRMH says:

    This should make it cheap and easy to build a telepresence robot. This has pretty much all the hardware ready-to-go, just add software. It should even be possible to get stereoscopic video from this thing.

    Idea: You know what would be useful? An open protocol for controlling telepresence robots. Something that just sends fairly abstract commands, like camera P/T/Z and movement commands, and negotiates audio and video connections, which could use as existing open protocol like SIP.

  2. aeris says:

    Why make a robot for $20 when you can do it for $2000 ? Because I have money but no genius.

  3. CameronSS says:

    http://xkcd.com/413/ anyone? If only they’d used an EeePC instead of that Dell.

  4. nafkin says:

    “…the Bilibot is projected to cost $650…”

    That seems fairly reasonable considering the platform, and requiring virtually no initial labor for the end user. Sure you can do it for less, but if it provides an easy option to get somebody started and learning, great!

  5. rasz says:

    Very exciting in terms of what ROS can deliver, especially combined with Kinect.

  6. Steve Webb says:

    So does it vacuum my floors while its roaming around?

  7. lwatcdr says:

    I wonder if it needs to have the brains on board. Would you have enough bandwidth to send the data over wifi to a desktop PC?
    It does look like it will take a pretty powerful computer for this. How long until we get some Tegra 2 and or OMAP 5SBCs that can run this.

  8. bunedoggle says:

    Love the idea but I do feel that the roomba is kicking up the price needlessly. If you’re adding a pc then the roobma is only adding locomotion (or are there sensors on it being used?).

    BYW, if you don’t like their choice of computer (other commenters), they are open to suggestions about that part: http://www.bilibot.com/platforms/suggest

  9. Ekaj says:

    Congratulations to this “hacker” <-LOL for taking all of the genius, creativity and skill out of robot building.

  10. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    @Ekaj

    Actually he did just the opposite.

  11. fire blight says:

    Awesome post.

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