January 10, 2007 iRobot has unveiled iRobot Create, an affordable, programmable robot designed for aspiring roboticists. Create is based on the core technology of iRobot Roomba, the vacuuming robot that is cleaning millions of homes worldwide, and is compatible with Roomba’s rechargeable batteries, remote control and other accessories. Create comes pre-assembled, so developers can design new robots without having to build a mobile robot from scratch. Pricing starts at US$130, enabling developers to begin designing new robot applications out of the box. This new platform provides access to robot sensors and actuators via an open interface. Create also features standard connections for electronics and threaded mounting holes that allow users to secure their inventions to the robot, streamlining the integration of third-party electronics such as sensors, cameras, arms and wireless connections.
“Innovators dream of creating useful robots, but they often get bogged down with designing a mobile platform that works,” said Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot. “iRobot Create fills a need in the robot industry for a standard, durable hardware platform on which to rapidly develop new, innovative mobile robots.”
A variety of methods and programming languages can be used to control Create. Beginners can observe the robot’s behavior in one of ten demonstration modes, or they can program the robot directly by downloading short scripts with any basic terminal program. More advanced users can write programs for completely autonomous robot behavior in C or C++ using the iRobot Command Module. Developers can also create custom software and interact with Create using a variety of methods including Microsoft Robotics Studio, a Windows-based development toolkit.