By Andy Choi
Willow Garage, developer of hardware and open source software for personal robotics, has come up with a new PR2 robot for research applications. This model, the PR2 SE, has one arm and will cost you user $285,000. The robot development kit which has an updated sensor suit and a single can be upgraded with a second arm at a later date.
Image Credit: Willow Garage
You can configure the robot base to whatever design needs you have. The robot base is ideal for university or research organizations that want to work on a human machine interface. The updated sensor suit of the PR2 SE includes the Microsoft Kinect which has already been proven to be an asset to robotic designs.
PR robost along with help from the Microsoft Kinect has been used in research for all sorts of things from studying man-machine interfaces to helping the disabled. The robot is also capable of being used in projects for Federal grant money allowing the schools and researchers go after the NFS National Robotics Initiative grants.
The manufacturing company has even offered a 30% discount to people who have a proven track record in contributing to the open source robotics community. This could bring down the cost to mere $199,500. This is far lower than the two armed PR2 which costs $400,000.