The world is always changing.
So is the enormous field of robotics.
Not long ago you were privileged to have an MIT handyboard or a Turtle or maybe even a sumo-bot project in your hands. Saying these words a few years ago to most crowds would cause a glazed stare from the crowd as if lobsters were crawling from your ears.
A new frontier has opened up because of this: Custom Robotics.
Now that robotics have come to be a household word, it is fantastic that also at the same time companies have been created that can customize or completely build from scratch exactly what you want. And fast. And not at DARPA-level budgets!
A great new example is the Willow PR2 robot. From high-level thinkers involved with Google and Stanford University has come this latest iteration of a truly open-source software personal robot. This is an amazing step towards custom robotics. Not only can the researcher / end user dive into the mechanics of the robot BUT they are also able to utilize its many sensors and motors through an open portal into the robot’s code. It can become what you make it, behaviorally speaking.
But what about custom mechanisms? What about custom “skins”, panels, aesthetic but important features of a “personal robot”? This is where those companies skilled in special effects and prosthetics can play an important role… viagra