Unbounded Robotics launches robot platform for education, research

At US$50,000, the one-armed robot is relatively cheap

Unbounded Robotics launched its UBR-1 robot, a US$50,000, one-armed mobile platform designed for research and education.

Unbounded Robotics launched its UBR-1 robot, a US$50,000, one-armed mobile platform designed for research and education.

If you fear the rise of robots, the latest humanoid-style machine has an "emergency stop to prevent robot apocalypse."

That tongue-in-cheek feature belongs to UBR-1, which has been launched by California startup Unbounded Robotics.

The robot is aimed at a variety of applications in research and education. With a price tag of US$50,000, it's a relatively cheap "mobile manipulation platform," as Unbounded describes it.

The startup has compared the UBR-1 to an iPhone without any third-party apps -- essentially a platform for developers.

"Our robot can be used in a wide variety of applications; really anything that involves manipulation and repetition," CEO Melonee Wise said in an email interview.

"We see a great deal of potential in service robotics, particularly as the boundaries between industrial and personal robotics continue to erode."

The machine can move around and interact with the environment using its one arm. The arm has seven joints, and can move along seven axes of motion. Its pincer-like manipulator can grasp objects weighing up to 1.5 kg.

The UBR-1 has a Hokuyo UST-20LX 2D laser scanner to help avoid objects as it moves around, a Primesense 3D sensor as well as cameras and microphones.

The 73 kg, wheeled robot can move at a top speed of 1 meter per second and its battery can last three to five hours when it's in continuous operation. When it runs out of juice, it will self-dock into a recharging unit, which works off a standard household power supply.

The UBR-1 runs on the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS), which was developed at California-based Willow Garage, of which Unbounded is a spinoff.

The robot inherits much of the design and functionality of Willow Garage's $280,000 beer-fetching PR2 robot, which has been used by robotics researchers at various universities.

Last week, Google was one of several investors that contributed to a $2 million seed financing package for Savioke, another Willow Garage spinoff. Savioke said it plans to produce a robot that can work in places such as nursing homes and hospitals.

Unbounded is taking pre-orders for the UBR-1, which will initially ship in August to customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The company said it is looking for distributors in Asia, Australia and Europe.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags roboticsUnbounded Robotics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?