Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Military Robots Converted For Civilian Use

(Photo by Synexxus, Inc.)

7 Military Robots, Now Modified for Your Living Room -- Popular Science

Dozens of robotics companies are customizing military robots with gear like interchangeable tools, 3D radar vision and voice controls. The resulting bots, tested and refined in the field, may soon find their way into homes, gardens and places of work near you. Here's how.

Give the world a new electronic device and, before you know it, modified products will pop up. Such is the way with gadgets, electronics and, yes, robots. Some manufacturers try to lock down such mods, either physically or through legal channels, but the robotmakers at iRobot have embraced crowd sourcing. Their Robot Developers Kit provides the hardware and software to help developers make their own upgrades and add-ons for the military PackBots that they produce. More than 80 companies are now involved, creating an avalanche of new concepts that could find their way into the domestic robot market. Here's a look.

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