The UBR-1, A Hackable Robotics Platform, Is Now For Sale

One of the most interesting robotics platforms I’ve seen in a while, the UBR-1, is now available for sale, something that should cause robotics wonks to rejoice. The platform runs the Robot Operating System and includes a single hand with seven degrees of freedom, a 3D camera, stereo microphone, and speakers. It can move across the floor at 2 miles an hour and supports easy programming via a command prompt. That’s right: this guy has SSH.

It also has an emergency stop system that ensures it can’t become sentient and eat you.

Unbounded came to us via the late, great Willow Garage and is part of a new breed of robotics startups that offer usability and hackability in a package that looks like it could come from the Apple store.

Don’t think you’re going to get one of these for the bros in the office to teach to twerk. Powerful robotics platforms are expensive and the UBR-1 by Unbounded Robotics is up there with the best of them. The platform costs a solid $50,000 and comes with a portable crate that can be reused. This platform is perfect for experimenters and designers who might have their eye on a robotic solution to a problem but aren’t sure where to begin.

Like Baxter, you can “teach” the UBR-1 by moving its arm and head and then having it play back those motions, ad infinitum. You can also train it to grab objects in its field of view. It is also completely autonomous and lasts for about 3 hours on a charge.

Cool robots are, as a rule, badass. This is probably one of the most badass of them all. While I doubt many of us can pay $50K for one, I sure would like to play with an URB-1 some day.