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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Meet your next Intel-powered robot ""

QBO Latest Robot by Intel ( UPDATED )

Don’t be fooled by its soft edges, round eyes and cute feet… this is not a plaything for your niece or nephew.  Think again, says the maker of, the first mass-market affordably priced robot powered by Intel. is a fully programmable general-purpose robot.
“ is not a toy. contains advanced technology that will allow you to explore, dream, create and develop thousands of things around it,” says Francisco Paz, of TheCorpora Robotic Company. can be pressed into service for everything from artificial intelligence research to keeping an eye on your house, office, pets, an elderly grandparent, or interacting with children or people with special needs. can identify and follow someone around the house—quietly rolling along on its rubber-rimmed wheels—and interact with moving beings. Or even with another
With its “brain” as either an Intel Atom or an Intel Core i 3/5/7 processor nestled inside its plastic head—and with several models including kits starting at about $930.
It offers a variety of on-board sensors, webcams, controller boards, motherboards, as well as WiFi connectivity. It runs on the open-source Robotic Operating System. uses standard off-the-shelf components, so it can be upgraded or new components swapped in—the same way you can with a desktop PC.
Online pre-orders for the robot just began recently, for delivery in September (although it looks like its completely sold out!).
“They knew they needed to go with Intel because the level of intelligence they wanted for the robot could only be delivered by Intel,” says Intel’s Marcos García-Acosta. “It’s a simple, inexpensive way for people who want to get their hands on a robot.” is not rolling forth alone. A robot made by the French company Aldebaran has drawn widespread press attention in the last year—at least in part because of its strikingly humanoid appearance. It walks with a charming stiff-legged gait. However, the Aldebaran robot is primarily in use at universities and research centers worldwide—and costs $15,000. offers a less menacing presence—is less likely to wake the neighbors as it charges through your yard—than Big Dog. That 2008-vintage experimental Intel Pentium-processor powered robot has now drawn 14 million views on You Tube, and some very off-beat imitators.
Intel’s worldwide embedded business is large and important, spanning technology ranging from cash machines to automotive infotainment, though no one expects CPUs for robots to become a major new Intel business—at least not in the near term.’s makers hope to sell about 5,000-10,000 robots in the next two years. However, as García-Acosta points out, back in 1981 sales projections for the first IBM PC were about 5,000 units per year. And the whole world knows now how that biz turned out.


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