iRobot will use Android tablets to power service robots

iRobot will use Android tablets to power service robots
When we think of robots, we tend to think about the two major types: high-end robots and vacuum cleaners. Some examples of high-end robots include bomb disposal units, and radiation detecting robots. But iRobot CEO Colin Angle hopes to create a market for mid-range service robots.

And what's better than a robot serving as your daily helper? That robot, named AVA, will be powered by Android tablets! The Android tablet, a Motorola XOOM in this case, will serve as the processing and sensory core, while the iRobot machinery underneath will provide the mobility and physical functions.

Angle explains how the tablet and AVA came together: "We in the robot industry realized this is a fantastic head for a robot...what was missing was the body." With the front-facing camera, microphone, speakers, and accelerometer, the XOOM requires only the body and the programming.

Some keen readers might remember that AVA was initially demonstrated with an iPad at CES. Angle explains that the change was made for features like voice and video chat. "We're tablet-agnostic...Right now, Android has what we need," explains Angle.

iRobot's hope is to sell AVA to developers this year, and enter businesses next year. And once the price comes down, AVA can enter homes, and provide everything from domestic assistance to virtual doctors' visits.

source: CNET

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