September 10, 2008

Rodney Brooks to Start Heartland Robotics

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MIT and iRobot's Rodney Brooks is about to start his own company, Heartland Robotics, which will assist American workers to become more productive. He believes, as do we at Robot Snob, that the industry is about to take off.

"Just as computers we interact with personally transformed our lives over the last 25 years, so, too, will robots transform our lives over the coming 25. And it just so happens that Massachusetts is the epicenter of this nascent industry," Brooks said.

We hope we will be around to see the change.

Via Information Week

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 8, 2008

iRobot Breaks Out New Roombas

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iRobot has launched its newest Roombas in the form of Pet robotic vacuums. The two models have higher capacity sweeper bins, brushes for digging into thick carpeting, and counter-rotate to make cleaning easier. Designed for those who have pets that shed or more dirt than the average family, they feature iRobot's three-stage cleaning that automatically adjusts to type of flooring and light-touch bumper.

The 532 comes with Virtual Walls for guidance, can clean up to three rooms on a single charge, and is available for $349.99. The 562 carries a price of $399.99 and includes on-board scheduling. Both come with an extra set of brushes to help dig out that doggy dander and furrballs that were found in a corner, as well as 2 additional filters and cleaning tools.

Via iRobot at iRobot
Roomba 532 Pet Series Vacuum Cleaning Robot
and iRobot
562 Pet Cleaning Robot

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 4, 2008

Wii Balance Board + Roomba = Surfin'ba

Check out the demo of a the Surfin'ba with a Wii Balance Board and an iRobot Roomba. In his third hack, "longjie0723" manages to play "Surfin U.S.A." while they go through their paces. The guy seems to be having a good time, but we suspect the Roomba feels a bit foolish.

Via The Raw Feed

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 26, 2008

eyeRobot Aids the Visually Impaired

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"shrimpy" has created the eyeRobot, a prototype that guides visually impaired and blind users. The owner pushes and/or twists the handle to show it its preferred path, and the bot finds the way using sonar. It was made with an iRobot Create, sensors, potentiometers, and miscellaneous hardware. A winner from Instructable's iRobot Create Challenge, he built the robot for less than $400.00, lots cheaper than a $12,000 guide dog and costs much less to feed.

Via eyeRobot

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 29, 2008

Mr. Pitiful Sings Praises of Roomba

Mr. Pitiful, one of YouTube's most popular musicians, has just completed his newest tune. Entitled "Brand New Friend (the Roomba Song,)" it is too funny for words. Maybe iRobot will make it a commercial success. If you like it, visit his MySpace Page, listed below, for more of his work.

Via Mr. Pitiful

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 2, 2008

Readybot Hires Roomba

Ya gotta love the Readybot. It was devised by a team of engineers and designers in Silicon Valley who arranged a contest (a la DARPA Urban challenge) to build a kitchen cleaning bot. The result is the Readybot, who has been around for awhile, but has recently decided it needs help. So the team added a Roomba to pick up the little stuff. The group is hoping to expand the growing domestic robotics industry with its publicity. We thought we wanted one of these robots before, now we are convinced. Now if they would just teach Readybot to clean the cat box.

Via Readybot Home Page

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 24, 2008

Hacking Your Roomba

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When your Roomba has cleaned your house completely, why not let it work in other mysterious ways? Hacking Roomba seems to be obsessed with the idea, and not only has released a book on the subject, but also shows you various mods and hacks. For example, you can turn it into a midi-player, a Bluetooth adapter, and even a Battlestar Galactica Cylon, although that one is a bit of a stretch. Check out the site if you are not quite ready to invest in the book, for there are many projects that are displayed there. And the best part is, even after you hack away, your Roomba will still clean your floor.

Via Hacking Roomba

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 13, 2008

iRobot Roomba - The Vacuum Cleaning Robot

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We're not sure you can have a Robot blog without covering products from iRobot, and that's not a bad thing. We love our little Roomba vacuum cleaning robot, and think they're hard to beat. Recently iRobot has improved the Roomba with the 500 series.

The robots are much more reliable and some of the upgrades include:

  • Improved cleaning performance
  • Improved navigation
  • Easier to use, maintain and upgrade
  • Voice demonstration
  • Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™
  • Amazing pickup
  • Larger filter
  • Won't get stuck
  • Lower maintenance
  • On-board Scheduling
  • Wireless Command Center

We've seen the new 500 series in action, and it really has improved from earlier Roomba models. We noticed the Roomba 500 series doesn't get stuck on the edges of carpets as much (it can still get stuck). We also like the on-board scheduling feature.

For competition however you can look to lots of different robot vacuum products if Roomba isn't for you. Other robot vacuums include the Infinuvo Cleanmate and the Vesture TrackVac. We'll cover these as we get more details on them.

At iRobot Vacuum Cleaning Roomba

Looking for more iRobot products? The currently available list of iRobot products include: iRobot Vacuum Cleaning Roomba, iRobot Floor Washing Scooba, Dirt Dog Text Link, iRobot Shop Sweeping Dirt Dog, iRobot Pool Cleaning Verro, iRobot Gutter Cleaning Looj, and the iRobot Virtual Visiting ConnectR.

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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