RB5X “Intelligent Robot” From The 80s For Sale On eBay

While this particular item, like most electronics in the 80s, probably overstates its capabilities to some degree, it does seem like a pretty great little testbed for up-and-coming roboticists — at least in the early 80s. Time has rendered this little guy’s 8K of RAM rather inadequate, and I’m not sure people want to program their robot in BASIC any more.

Aside from the outdated control mechanisms, this thing is surprisingly forward-thinking: it’s got modular slots for adding functionality like a robot arm or disk drive, it has pressure-sensitive bumpers and a system for remembering the layout of the room it’s in, and a “Polaroid Rangefinder” sonar sensor to aid in navigation.

You can buy this one on eBay for $2100, or try your luck on the bids. Note that it does not come with the arm, or batteries, though the seller seems to know where you can get such things.

[via Reddit]