CES 2007: The iRobot Create can also fetch your beer from the fridge

More iRobot Create video, following the previous story about hamsters driving it. Someone else has adapted iRobot’s new programmable bot to go to the fridge, open the door, and fetch a beer (or in this case, a soft beverage). Now that’s progress. Watch the video below, then click on the link below to read more about the bot itself.

I grabbed iRobot’s John Billington to find out more about iRobot Create, which was just announced today. The base pack costs $129.99, although the idea is that users would then buy various add-ons depending on what they want to program it to do.

“It enables people to do whatever they want quickly and easily without having to develop a robot from scratch,” he says. “It comes with a serial cable to connect to your computer, and there’s some pre-programmed demos to show what you can do with it. But the real programming comes with the Command Module accessory, which lets you write C code or C++ code, compile it down and you have a fully autonomous robot.”

There are also expansion ports to plug in attachments, such as the arm in the video above. If you’re interested, the hamster one works by using a laser mouse to track the ball’s movement, and translate it into movements for the robot. So is there a big market for this?

“The robot market right now is really hot,” says Billington. “There’s a lot of people who come to a company like iRobot saying we should make this robot or that robot, so now we’re helping them to make that a reality. There’s getting more and more activity around robots, with the clubs and so on.”

iRobot website

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Stuart Dredge

Stuart DredgeCES 2007: The iRobot Create can also fetch your beer from the fridge