iRobot Create 2 brings DIY to Roomba robots

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The pioneers in robotics are iRobot, have come up with something new.  Many educational robots are either complex and expensive, or simple and cheap.  iRobot thinks it can reach a happy balance with its new Create 2 robot.

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The Create 2 is iRobot’s attempt to bring the form and abilities of the Roomba cleaning robot to students, developers, and DIY enthusiasts.  All Create 2 robots are made from remanufactured Roomba platforms, bringing the full collection of LED’s and sensors from said platform to your fingertips.  This system was made for creators, students, and educationists, to program sounds, behaviours, and movements in a simple learning environment.  This system was made for robotics students ranging from beginner level all the way to advanced.

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Basically it’s a Roomba 600 series vacuum, also an iRobot invention, turned into a hackers paradise.  The CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle says the device is an easily accessible, clearly marked spaces that would love add-on hardware (like cameras and arms) and cosmetic modifications.  The device comes with a programming framework, example instructions and 3D printing files for extra parts.  If you can write code and plug in through USB, you can turn the robot into a Bluetooth-controlled DJ, a miniature security guard or whatever else your budget and skill allow.  This robot wants to grow and expand by any means necessary.

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This machine is ‘ready to go right out of the box” which means that while it is a Do-It-Yourself project, you can have fun with it immediately.  You can control is with your own micro-controller or wirelessly with your PC.  Two projects that will be included are “light bot”, a light painting tutorial to create LED based images, and “DJ Create 2”, a roaming, robotic DJ that allows for easy control of music through a Bluetooth enabled mobile device.  The Create 2 will be available in the United States starting on December 10th, 2014.  It will cost $199.99.