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UBR-1: Your Robot Buddy

Corinna Underwood

Corinna Underwood has been a published author for more than a decade. Her non-fiction has been published in many outlets including Fox News, CrimeDesk24, Life Extension, Chronogram, After Dark and Alive.

UBR-1: Your Robot Buddy

If you’re are looking for a robot companion to be by your side while you work out, fetch you a cold beer or help you test research applications, check out Unbounded Robotics’ UBR-1. For around $50,000—which is just a fraction of its competitors—you could have a new robot buddy.

The robot “sees” through 3D RGBD sensors in the front of its pan-tilt head, enabling it to gather information to manipulate its arm. A second scanner mounted in its base helps it map its location and navigate around obstacles.

Its smarts come from a 4th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive that runs the open-source ROS software platform. You can manipulate UBR-1 manually using a PS3 controller, or by means of the software program developed by Unbounded Robotics.

The robot weights 150 pounds and has a telescopic spine that gives it height range of 32-58 inches. Its arm has seven degrees of freedom and can lift up to 1.5kg with its two-pronged gripper. Because the arm is modular, you can even design robot hands to your individual specifications.

UBR-1 can keep up the pace, thanks to its charge dock that provides a long run time for up to five hours. This means it can complete more lengthy tasks, such as setting the table for dinner or unloading the washing machine while taking only a little time to recharge.

The mobile manipulator is also very adaptable. You can plug directly into its computer via several USB 3.0 expansion ports. The head and base are enabled for the addition of new devices and sensors.

Unbounded Robotics was founded in 2013 by Willow Garage alumni Melonee Wise, Michael Ferguson, Eric Diehr, and Derek King. Their aim is to develop advanced and affordable robots for service and robotics research. The company is already taking orders.

Image credit: Extreme Tech

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