A milestone in modern technology has been reached with the development of the beer fetching house robot PR2 from Willow Garage. A must have for every one that has
$400 000 to spare.

In addition to the essential beer fetching ability it can seek out its own power supply and plug itself in when needed (an ability that would be very welcome in laptops) and fold towels, all at an amazingly slow pace. It will be interesting to see what one of these can do in a couple of years.

They are however developing budget alternative that could be an interesting investment for the curious hobbyist: the Turtlebot. It’s just the platform to start building your own robot, with a hacked Kinect as eyes and the open source robotics platform ROS as the heart, which all should be available in a kit this summer for around $1200.

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