Game Changer? Luna the Personal Robot

May 17, 2011
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While it’s not quite Rosey from the Jetsons, RoboDynamics has unveiled a fully programmable adult-sized personal robot called Luna which comes with several “personality packs” to best fit your lifestyle. Luna could walk your dog for you or clean your house among “other things.”

According to the press release, the 5-foot tall Luna will ship during the 4th Quarter of 2011. “Dubbed ‘the iPad of robots’ by technology journalists, Luna is the first robot to feature a native App Store, standard PC architecture, an open Linux based operating system, touchscreen display, WiFi, and multiple tactically located standard USB based expansion ports for infinite expandability.”

What seems to be the most exciting aspects of Luna are that it can provide security, telepresence, hospitality, or anything else you can program it to do. Expandable and customizable, means that Luna might become the open source development platform at the consumer level. If that happens, robots could become something to be found in most households much like computers are nowadays.

The thing is, although the iPad was certainly not created solely for people with disabilities, there have been hundreds of ways that the iPad has helped and bettered the lives of some people with disabilities. If Luna the personal robot is anything at all like the iPad, then this robotic assistance could be both affordable and revolutionary for those same individuals.

IEEE Spectrum listed out the specs:

Processor: Dual Core Atom 2 GHz
Graphics: nVidia 94000M
Storage capacity: 8 GB Flash, expandable to 32 GB
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11g), optional Bluetooth via Luna Expansion Port (LXP)
Cellular comm.: Optional 3G or 4G via Luna Expansion Port (LXP)
Operating system: LunaOS (includes Poky Linux, ROS, and other packages)
Display: 8″ touchscreen capacitive LCD
Camera: 8-megapixel primary camera with digital zoom
Microphone: 3 microphone array with DSP front-end with sound localization
Speakers: Yes (no specs available yet)
Sensors: 10-bit wheel encoders, PrimeSense 3D Sensor
Expansion ports: Luna Expansion Ports (LXP) x 7 [Each LXP comprises standard USB Female Type A and 12 volt and 5 volt regulated power with mounting holes]
Battery: 12 volt, 26 amp-hour – SLA
Battery life: Between 4-8 hours
Charge time: 4-8 hours for full charge
Size: Height: 5’2″ (157 cm) – Base: 22″ (56 cm)
Weight: 65 lbs (30 Kg)

If the release of Luna will start a “flurry of innovation” to create affordable personal robots or not is yet to be seen. But Luna could be the start of all kinds of different people having a programmable robot to help out in their homes. Although the target price is $1,000 in the future, Luna will start off with a price tag of $3,000.

Image Credits: RoboDynamics & SchultzeWORKS

Author: Tessa