Ever wanted to build your own robot? iRobot Corporation has announced iRobot Create, a robot that lets you put your own personal stamp on a robot by adding your own sensors, computers, remote controls and more.
Based on the iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot platform, iRobot Create lets you send commands from a computer or more advanced programmers can add on a fully programmable iRobot Command Module for onboard control.
10 built-in demonstrations and 32 built-in sensors;
A spacious, open cargo bay with threaded holes for mounting additional hardware;
A 25-pin expansion port for adding sensors, grippers, wireless connections, computers, or other hardware;
Fully documented serial protocol provides full access to sensors, actuators, and on-board scripting functionality (allowing users to edit programming and upgrade the robotics? software via a PC);
Supported under Windows XP via the unit?s serial port, users can use Windows XP software to create the robot. Use the supplied serial cable to send individual commands from a PC or write basic scripts of up to 100 open interface commands which can be stored on the robot;
No need to assemble the drive system or worry about low-level code (it?s ready to go, straight from the box);
Includes a fourth wheel to improve stability of larger payloads; and
Is fully compatibility with iRobot Roomba accessories including the rechargeable batteries, power supply, home base, remote control, and virtual walls.
Programming the robot
A variety of methods and programming languages can be used to control the iRobot Create. Access to all of the robot?s sensors and actuators over a serial port is provided via the iRobot open interface.
Novices can observe the robot?s behaviour in one of 10 demonstration modes or program the robot directly by downloading short scripts with any basic terminal program. More advanced users can write custom software using a variety of methods that take advantage of the robot?s ?streaming sensor data? mode for more control of the robot. Highly advanced users can write programs in C or C++ for the Command Module that attaches to the robot for completely autonomous behaviour.
The Command Module contains an 8-bit, 20 MHz (Atmel ATMega 168) microcontroller enabling full programmability of iRobot Create?s motors, lights, sounds, and sensor readings. The Command Module plugs into the Create robot?s cargo bay connector and provides on-board control with programs that can be written in C or C++. It has four DB-9 expansion ports for adding other hardware. As well it includes a Command Module CD (containing three example programs and the compiler), USB cable, and a quick start guide.
It?s your must-have, iRobot Create is available in the US for $1,299 RRP.