TurtleBot: a Kinect on wheels

Willow Garage has announced plans for the release of their TurtleBot robot kit. The kit is a combination of their iRobot Create, a Kinect, netbook, and gyro integrated together. Picture an Asus netbook riding on a Roomba with top-mounted Kinect for cyber vision all controlled by open source software and capable of running your own apps. They say TurtleBot can explore your house on its own, build 3D pictures, bring you food, take panoramas, and more.

TurtleBot comes with an open-source SDK based on ROS to help you develop robotic applications right out of the box.

The bot isn’t exactly cheap, costing around $1200 for the complete kit. But the combination of a Kinect, Asus netbook and open source dev software makes it a platform the dedicated robot hacker may want to consider.

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