$800 human sized general purpose robot

A team of students at Columbia University, led by Jason Ravel, has designed a human-sized general purpose robot called Talos. Built for just US$800, this low cost robot has arms, a face, and can answer voice commands.

The Talos robot is built on an iRobot Create robot platform, which provides locomotion and an ability to sense walls and stairs.

Talos can follow, retrieve, act as a telepresence, respond to voice commands, and be controlled via a Microsoft Surface.

Ravel sees the robot project as an open source hardware platform that other robotics students could expand and modify as the software is built on an open architecture that allows for expansion and the addition of new abilities. His team see Talos as a model for a lower-cost humanoid robot that can function in a home or office environment.

Next steps in the project will be improving the object recognition and retrieval capability. The team will also be working on new navigation functions that use landmarks and can make maps as the robot roams around.

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