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Unbounded Robotics UBR-1 Now Available for Pre-Order

This mobile manipulator may be the next standard platform for research robotics

2 min read
The UBR-1 mobile manipulator robot.
The UBR-1 mobile manipulator robot.
Photo: Unbounded Robotics

It's been a long time coming, but Unbounded Robotics is finally all set to start offering their UBR-1 mobile manipulator robot up for pre-order. It seems destined to be the next standard platform for research robotics and beyond, and you can get on the list for one right now.

Starting today, Unbounded Robotics has opened pre-orders for a shiny new batch of UBR-1 robots. It's first come first serve, with deliveries expected by August in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. 

Unbounded says that they've received substantially more interest in the fancier version of the UBR-1, which was initially called the UBR-1 Pro. This is a little bit of a good-news-bad-news thing, as Unbounded has decided to focus (at least for the foreseeable future) exclusively on the Pro model, which will run you an even $50,000 as opposed to $35,000.

This isn't really a price bump, since you're getting some serious hardware upgrades, including a much more powerful computer and (more importantly) a way scarier laser (a Hokuyo UST-20LX) that has a shorter dead zone and is capable of mapping and sensing obstacles at longer ranges and over a wider variety of surfaces.

For those of you who want to get up and running right away, you can also pick up a computer from Unbounded that's been preconfigured with ROS to play well with your new robot. You'll also get a gigabit wireless router that's been all set up, so really, all you'd need to do is power stuff on and you'll be ready to go immediately.

We hear that the production version of the UBR-1 will be running the latest long-term support version of ROS, called Indigo Igloo, which is so new that it doesn't even have a logo yet.

The last cool thing that you might be interested in as far as your new UBR-1 goes is that, unless you decide to pick it up in person, the robot will ship in a crate. This is a crate to be excited about, because it's custom made and reusable, and it's small enough that you can toss it in the back of an SUV or a modestly sized station wagon. So, taking your UBR-1 out into the real world to see how it behaves in different environments becomes something you can easily just go and do, rather than having to worry about logistics every time.

Hit up the link below for more information and to adopt a robot of your own.

[ Unbounded Robotics ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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