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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)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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