Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Evolution Robotics EV1 - A Great Domestic Robotics Kit

For those who remember, back in late 2002 Evolution Robotics launched the EV1 home robotics kit. This is back when iRobot launched their first Roomba and Electrolux has launched their Trilobite the previous year. Evolution Robotics made this unique robotics kit that required the use of your laptop (or your grandma's) in order to run their software. The EV1 kit, without the 'gripper arm', retailed at US$499 at local retail stores. This kit was not a success for the masses but it surely was for all of us geeks, so much that some remnants are still seen in successful robotic projects as Danh Trinh's "Personal Home Robot" that won iRobot Create Challange 1st prize in 2007. This kit offered many great features as: computer vision, hearing, speech, networking, remote control, email, autonomous mobility, gripping, IR sensing capabilities all brought together with an open software system and a reconfigurable chassis. Evolution Robotics still exist, creating software for robotic systems but their efforts will be seen by the masses when Rovio comes out later this year. If you love robotics and like to tinker try to find one in EBay or CraigsList otherwise get a Lego Mindstorms NXT which is the current successor to the EV1. Get out, tinker, invent and create the next Domestic Robot to work in our homes! We need more of you!

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