With the Kinect hacked and Roombas readily available, robotics should be cheaper to get into than ever before!
The only problem is, most people who want robots don't know where to start, or what to get. Bilibot (from the German word 'bilig', or cheap) aims to address this problem. Using all open source software, Bilibot will consist of:
* the cheapest, most powerful computer we can put together
* a robotic base, like a Roomba, or the iRobot create
* a Kinect sensor
* mounting hardware to put it all together
* the ROS Robotic Operating system, with research contributions from roboticists all over the world!
All of this will be bundled together so people can get a robot that does cool stuff right out of the box. The price tag we are aiming for is $400. We're not charging for anything more than parts and the time it took us to assemble it.
If you still want to build your own, no problem: all the plans and software used will be made available.
We hope that Bilibot can become the Arduino of robotics and allow anyone with a small amount of programming experience to take advantage of the cutting edge technology in the field of robotics. We will further maintain a site at Bilibot.com where developers can share code and discuss hacks.
So what is the money for? Well, we have the know-how, we just need to get a stable prototype working - find out what computers work well, what base is the best, and try things out. Also, some things are much cheaper in bulk. if we can order 50 bases to cut the price in half, that will allow us to sell them to people at that much cheaper.
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