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iRobot unveils US$130 programmable robot for developers and students

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January 9, 2007

iRobot's co-founder and CEO, Colin Angle, poses with a Create for us.

iRobot's co-founder and CEO, Colin Angle, poses with a Create for us.

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January 10, 2007 iRobot has unveiled iRobot Create, an affordable, programmable robot designed for aspiring roboticists. Create is based on the core technology of iRobot Roomba, the vacuuming robot that is cleaning millions of homes worldwide, and is compatible with Roomba’s rechargeable batteries, remote control and other accessories. Create comes pre-assembled, so developers can design new robots without having to build a mobile robot from scratch. Pricing starts at US$130, enabling developers to begin designing new robot applications out of the box. This new platform provides access to robot sensors and actuators via an open interface. Create also features standard connections for electronics and threaded mounting holes that allow users to secure their inventions to the robot, streamlining the integration of third-party electronics such as sensors, cameras, arms and wireless connections.

“Innovators dream of creating useful robots, but they often get bogged down with designing a mobile platform that works,” said Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot. “iRobot Create fills a need in the robot industry for a standard, durable hardware platform on which to rapidly develop new, innovative mobile robots.”

A variety of methods and programming languages can be used to control Create. Beginners can observe the robot’s behavior in one of ten demonstration modes, or they can program the robot directly by downloading short scripts with any basic terminal program. More advanced users can write programs for completely autonomous robot behavior in C or C++ using the iRobot Command Module. Developers can also create custom software and interact with Create using a variety of methods including Microsoft Robotics Studio, a Windows-based development toolkit.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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