AI News, Robot Gift Guide 2016

Robot Gift Guide 2016

Just as we’ve done in the past (for a quick trip through recent robotics history, check out the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions), this year’s selection includes mostly new products released in 2016 but also some items from previous years that we still like.

We tested many of these bots ourselves, and you might have seen our in-depth reviews here on the blog.And while we provide prices andlinks to places where you can buy these items, we’re not endorsing any in particular, and a little bit of searching may result in better deals (all prices are in U.S. dollars).

At first, we were skeptical that Anki’s Cozmo would be ableto really hold our interest,but after talking with its developers, it sounds like it’s going to have some very impressive capabilities for such a little guy, along with an SDK that’s designed to give you full access to a surprising amount of intelligence and autonomy.

You still get the visual SLAM mapping, multi-room cleaning, and app connectivity, and the fact that the 960 has a smaller battery and will need to recharge more frequently doesn’t matter all that much since it’ll pick up right where it left off.

basically, it’s like a little autonomous car that drives around your living room cleaning stuff so that you don’t have to.If you’re looking for a less expensive model, the Neato Botvac D3 is only $400, with the sacrifice of some battery capacity and a side brush (laserincluded!).

Little legged robots like these are still inspiring active research, but they’re definitely designed for consumers, with the kind of durability that means they can be thrown off a roof without taking any damage.

The new Play 700 kit, released this year, uses the samecolored plastic pieces and rivets, which are easy and fun to assemble,but it adds a more advanced controller whose program kids can modify.

Now young roboticists(the kit is designed for ages 8+) can build a scorpion bot, a windmill, or a racecar, among other things, and change their behaviors using a smartphone andRobotis’ R+PLAY700 iOS or Android app.

At $1,300, we thought it was a little expensive initially, but Parrot has now dropped the price to $1,000, which is much more reasonable, considering that it comes with Parrot’s fancy Skycontroller 2, along with a headset that will turn your phone into a VR display.

Intel's new hardware kits make it easier to build robots and drones

Intel’s keynotes can be fun, with robots parading on stage and drones zigzagging around the room.

Now Intel’s making new hardware to help enthusiasts join the fun by building robots and drones at home.

A major element of the developer boards is the RealSense 3D camera, which will ship with the kits and help the robots and drones navigate and avoid obstacles.

Other features include an HDMI slot, Gigabit ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a camera interface and an eDP (embedded DisplayPort) slot to connect a display.

It’s also an effort to provide do-it-yourselfers with the resources to develop a wide range of gadgets, appliances, and smart home and industrial equipment.

The most software-friendly robotics and drone development board is Qualcomm’s DragonBoard 410c, which supports Windows 10 IoT Core, embedded Linux and ROS (Robotics Operating System), the most widely used robotics OS.