Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Want a "Free" PR2 Domestic Robot?

You read it correctly, so what is the catch you may ask? That there are only 10 Willow Garage PR2 domestic robots to give away for free to "research institutes". Here is their exact words:

"The PR2 Beta Program will make available approximately ten PR2 Beta robots at no cost. "

"We invite research institutions to respond to our Call for Proposals, describing the open source and scientific contributions that they can make with a PR2. The Call for Proposals contains additional details on how we will select the top proposals and distribute PR2s."

The Willow Garage PR2 is a very interesting and advanced semi-humanoid domestic robot that can expand the domestic robotics industry greatly! Willow Garage is a team of robotics experts (meet them here) who want to lay the groundwork for domestic robots to be the next paradigm shifting personal productivity tools for mankind. With the help of open source and open platform adoptions models they can help make this push and move forward this technology to where it needs to be. This domestic robot merges into single project the following basic robotics research areas:

  • Grasping/Manipulation
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Motion Planning
  • Robot Perception
  • Task Planning
This makes PR2 a wet dream for domestic robotics researchers!

The PR2 comes with the following jaw dropping specs:

Two On Board Servers:
Processors: Two Quad-Core i7 Xeon Processors (8 cores)
Memory: 24 GB
Hard Drive (Externally Removable): 1.5 TB
Hard Drive (Internal): 500 GB

Base Sensor:
Hokuyo UTM-30LX Laser Scanner

Above Shoulders Sensors:
Tilting Hokuyo UTM-30LX Laser Scanner
Microstrain 3DM-GX2 IMU

Head Sensors:
5-Megapixel Global Shutter Color Gigabit Ethernet Camera
Wide-Angle Global Shutter Color Stereo Ethernet Camera
Narrow-Angle Global Shutter Monochrome Stereo Ethernet Camera
LED Texture Projector Triggered with Narrow-Angle Stereo Camera

Forearm Sensor:
Global Shutter Ethernet Camera

Gripper Sensors:
Three-Axis Accelerometer
Fingertip Pressure Sensor Arrays
Calibration LED

Gigabit Ethernet Network for Sensor and Inter-Computer Communication
EtherCAT Network for Real time Motion Control and Camera Trigger Sync

Dual-Radio WiFi for Network Bonding
Dedicated Access Point for Direct Access to Robot Network

Power System:
1.3 kWh Battery System for 2-hour Robot Run time
On board Chargers

Casters: 4 Steered and Driven
Base Width: 668 mm
Speed: 1 m/s

Telescoping Spine
Center of Shoulder Height: Max 1110 mm
Center of Shoulder Height: Min 775 mm

Pan Tilt Head
Pan: +/- 175°
Tilt: -85° +30°

Arm DOFs
Arm: 4
Wrist: 3
Gripper: 1

The other nice thing about this robot is that the robot also has its very own open source OS called ROS v1.0. The ROS, by itself, will not make the robot do all the cool tricks, start talking to you or spring out its own A.I. but with the community of PR2 fanatic researchers it can grow to be just that and then some.

Make sure you write down on your calendar the following dates if you work at a research institute or have a group that does research and are interested on making your domestic robot idea become reality:

  • Intent To Respond Due : February 1, 2010
  • Final Proposal Due: March 1, 2010
You only have a week to send out your "Intent To Respond" and little over month to get your proposals out the door! What are you waiting for?! You will be getting a free domestic robot!!!

To help motivate you and your team, I added some videos of the PR2 robot mile stones. Enjoy!


taoliang said...

Can you give me a detail of this robot? How much is it? My,thank you!

Nikolai Tesla said...

Hello liang,

The PR2 sells for US$400,000 (Yikes!) but you get much for this research kit. You can get more information here:

Let me know if you do get a unit.

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