Company Hello Robot presented robot rolling Stretch RE1 with manipulator designed for research projects in the field of robotics. It is unusual for this class of devices design: this is a small wheeled platform sized robot vacuum cleaner, which is the high rod and riding on it a horizontal telescopic arm. The software robot is open source, and hardware can be expanded by adding cameras, sensors or other need for project-specific equipment.
Many researchers working in robotics, are not engaged in creating the robots, and the development of advanced algorithms that potentially can be applied to many different devices. That programmers did not spend time on hardware, companies produce outdoor robots, in which you can easily download new software and try it out. For example, in many studies as the basis for testing a new algorithm or design used robots, PR2 and Baxter (and its subsequent modification of the Sawyer). But initially they are both designed to move, weigh tens or even hundreds of pounds, and also, expensive.
Now Hello Robot introduced their first product — Stretch RE1 robot designed for studies in the field of automation of everyday processes and help around the house. The robot weighs 23 pounds and stands on a small platform with two wheels size 33 by 34 cm. It also comes with basic electronics, including a computer with Intel i5 running on Ubuntu and ROS. On top of the platform has two elements: vertical rod and single-beam lidar with a survey of 340 degrees (the lidar has a 360-degree field of view, but the bar closes a part of the review).
The rod is fixed the robot arm. The engineers chose an unusual approach, and thus simplified the design, leaving to the robot the ability to grab items next to him. The positioner has a telescopic design and extends to the desired length to 52 inches. At the end you can pin standard compressive seizure or third-party weighing up to three pounds. Telescopic crane can travel along the rod. On its end located a depth camera Intel RealSense.
The developers note that the robot is open source and documentation is published on GitHub and is based on a popular among the developers of the software. He also has a lot of standard interfaces and mounts the platform, the manipulator and the “head” that can be installed with different optional equipment from the compute units to cameras or new grips. The cost of the robot is 17950 dollars.
In the last couple of years there have been several ready-made commercially available walking robot. Boston Dynamics recently began to sell the four-legged robot Spot, Chinese Unitree Robotics sells several versions of similar four-legged robots, and the us Robotics Agility with Jan sells biped robot Digit.