May 31, 2005

Good iRobot, Bad iRobot?

iRobot SwarmBot: it’s not just about floors anymore via Engadget and iRobot Developing "Battlefield Vehicle" with John Deere via Gizmodo

Whole-Swarm-From-AboveOK, what with the whole iRobot Scooba announcement, the press around iRobot probably was going to be ramped up a bit. But now you've got two sides of iRobot: the good, with the article on Engadget about a swarming robot called SwarmBot in development, along with a SwarmOS -- very very cool stuff.

We have developed a large library of these behaviors, and have used them to perform group tasks such as clustering to a location of interest, surrounding an object to measure its perimeter, navigating long distances using neighboring robots as landmarks,  and exploring and mapping a large building.
It's also scaleable in architecture, uses IR communication over 125kbps, and are packed into a 5" cube. Sweet!

And then the bad, with iRobot developing with John Deere a battlefield robot -- aside from their current military robot, the PackBot. Granted the second article is really an interview with Helen Greiner, one of iRobot's cofounders, and mentions the project in passing. Her interview, while CNN's usual fluff, is pretty interesting as well, and worth a look through.

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Posted by Ted Stevko at May 31, 2005 08:30 PM | TrackBack