Colum and I have started doing some research for building a robot. We’ve built the workspace in the garage and we have starting reading and doing some market research.
Turns out that industrial quality robots are pretty expensive devices and can sell for $10,000-$30,000 each for something that seems relatively straight forward to build and program. These are things like UAV gliders, and remote controlled tracked vehicles with a wireless camera attached.
That got us thinking that beyond being a cool hobby to get into and something that would potentially be career boosting for both of us building robots could turn into a nice small business to operate.
Robotics has not yet taken off in the same way that mobile is right now, but I suspect that it’s time is coming due to the increasingly low barrier to entry for getting into robotics projects. We’ve been looking at the Arduino boards as a starting point and after reading a bit about them it seems like it’s almost trivial to get some fairly sophisticated electro-mechanical devices put together. Even with multiple sensors and complex logic, these $30 boards seem quite capable.
Next step is going to be to start getting some tools and some electronic components to start tinkering.