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Robotics: New Ideas for the iRobot Create

The IRobot Security Guard

Another interesting idea we saw on the forums involved programming an iRobot to roam around the house and scan for intruders. Of course, this robot wouldn't have access to weapons like the Terminator, but it would be equipped with audio and visual sensors as well as wireless (802.11) capabilities to detect intruders and transmit its findings. Perhaps it could even be controlled remotely if the user wanted to direct the camera to a specific location. I think something like this would have a lot of practical uses and applications.

A Robotic Surveyor

I saw a couple proposals for an iRobot Create outfitted to map a location and wirelessly report its data to a PC for analysis. The most thought out of these proposals mentioned using IR rangefinders to detect the environment and create the map, and to constantly update the information to account for drift over time.

Image copyright Warner Brothers Pictures

A Robotic Stuffed Animal Toy

Sounds cutesy, but I could see this being a commercial success. The idea is to have an iRobot suited as a stuffed animal, with tracking and following capabilities. Imagine a stuffed bear that follows your child's movements with its eyes, and follows your child from room to room. The robot would also have wireless capabilities and could be given commands from a PC. That beats a tickle-me-Elmo and reminds me of the movie "A.I."

A Robot To Assist Those With Disabilities

Among the ideas put forward is a really intriguing concept that would put a robot to use as an assistant for the disabled. A quadriplegic could control their living space with laser-activated household items, or the robot could even be used as a surrogate to play with their dog. It's this kind of project that really opens your eyes as to the potential benefits robotics could offer humanity.