PR2 is the personal robot buddy you can buy today

We've been following the development of Willow Garage's PR2 robot for over a year, and now you can finally plunk down your $400,000 to get a beer serving, pool playing, and outlet finding PR2 of your own.

In addition to doing household chores like Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons, the makers say that PR2 makes an excellent base on which you can develop all sorts of robotic research tools. While the cutesy tasks are fun, they really expect PR2 to be used by educational institutions and industry as a robotics development platform.

PR2 comes pretty well equipped right out of the box, with dual gripper arms, a full-motion mobility base, and a complete suite of audio, video, and tactile sensors. Computing power is provided by pair of 8-core servers with 24GB of RAM and a 2TB hard disc. PR2 is also equipped with multiple WiFi systems and a onboard Gigabit Ethernet network.

I wonder if you could teach it to drive?

Willow Garage, via NewScientist

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