Robo-lifespan: FAQ update
Thursday, 04 August 2005
Another request for information to be added to the FAQ database has come in inquiring about the batteries of the 914 and how long the robot can run around on a single charge. Both questions (and the answers of course!) have been added to the FAQ.

Don’t forget to send in your questions.

Robotic security overkill... or not
Tuesday, 02 August 2005
Over at Robots.net they have some interesting coverage of Guard-Robo C-4 and the fact that it will be equipped as the first fuel cell powered robot. One of the interesting things they point out is that the robot doesn't carry harmful weapons and that it sports a very hefty price tag!

When it comes to security I would argue that really all you need is good surveillance cameras and perhaps a few patrolling/recording mobile eyes (think inexpensive 914s??) plus one good human (to call the police). Robot guards won't work that well as a deterrent (unless they look like Godzilla) and by the time they've spotted the intruder... well he's already... intruded.

Step 1. identify that an intruder/threat exists. Step 2. Record or identify said intruder. Step 3. Call the cops. Step 4. Put your baton back in your safety belt.

Ooops! I almost forgot… for prevention sake don’t forget to put up your "Warning: Flame Throwing Robotic Guard On Duty" sign.

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FAQ and your ideal robot?
Monday, 01 August 2005
Another request: "Can I "MOD" the 914?" has been added to the FAQ, and based on yesterdays rant about my concept of a robotic buffer a new forum topic has been started asking for your input on what would be "Your ideal robot?". Whether it's a rosie the robotic maid who fetches beers, or a stuffy security-bot that tells you when your dog is chewing the rug, lets here it for your ideal robot.

EDITORIAL: The perfect robot size…
Sunday, 31 July 2005
Like many people who’ve put some thought into robotics I’ve got my own vision of a pefect robot butler... or actually in my case I should say robot ‘buffer’. While most people dream of the million physical chores their robot will be doing for them that they won’t have to do (vacuuming the floor, feeding the dog, babysitting the kids, fetching beer etc) my robot would act more as a buffer against what I call ‘technology spam’.

I love technology and I make my living in the technology industry but frankly
Brainy PCs on wheels
Thursday, 28 July 2005
I received an FAQ request from someone wanting to know the pricing for 914 PC BOTs which I thought was obvious from the White Box Robotics website but then I realized from reading some of the media coverage its not quite that clear.

In fact from reading the Business Week article: ‘Brainy PCs on wheels’ which details the merger of Frontline Robotics and White Box Robotics you might get the impression that 914s cost US$18,000... (they don’t). Some specifically tailored commercial security robots from Frontline might, but 914s won’t cost more than a decent PC (around $1,199~$1699 depending on model and configuration etc).

From the article:
There are a couple of profound ideas here. Think about it. PC standards helped turn desktop and mobile computing affordable and ubiquitous. Now it could do the same in the robot world.

Pricing query added to the FAQ.

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Industry Update:IRBT
Thursday, 28 July 2005
iRobot has filed for an IPO hoping to raise $115 million in funds for common stock. iRobot (soon to be Nasdaq IRBT) has sold about 1.5 million Roombas so far, has a new Scooba robotic floor mop in the works and has 7000 retail outlets worldwide selling their products. Good Luck!
Newbs update!
Wednesday, 27 July 2005
As the first results of the site survey come trickling in the newbs appear to be ahead by a nose. One of the things I think is very interesting about the 914 is that it should attract newbs as well as more advanced roboticists.

Presently White Box Robotics is keeping a fairly tight lid on the information about the software that will be packaged with the robot, but… they have promised that it will have robotic functionality straight out of the box. Which will appeal to newbs who should also enjoy the PC functionality.

Of course the robotic nutters who want to write their own software and have their robots do GPS positioned back-flips will enjoy being able to write code on their desktop and transfer it over to the 914s onboard PC.

Go newbs go!

FAQ Update
Tuesday, 26 July 2005
No sooner have we launched then the questions have started coming in which is a great start to building up the FAQ section of the site. Queries included: 1. Because there are PC parts inside can I use the 914 as a regular computer? And 2. Is the 914 offered in different colors?

Both of these questions and their answers have been added to the FAQ section of this website.

Tuesday, 26 July 2005
An informal welcome to any of the first visitors to the site. I’ve just about managed to get everything up and running the way it should so now its just a matter of populating the site with useful information for you.

I’ll be updating the site Mon-Fri (and maybe weekends sometimes when my gal isn’t looking) so if there is info you’d like to see here make sure that you register and contact me to let me know. Be sure to participate in the site wherever you can including the polls, I’m keen to know what kind of people really dig PC BOTS and what kind of info I can scrounge up for them.

If the forums get busy at all I’ll be looking for moderators so anyone with the skills or interest is more than welcome.

914PCBOTS.com Community Site Goes Live!
Monday, 25 July 2005
Community tools and resources now available for enthusiasts and developers of the PC-Robotics revolution.

25 July 2005 – 914PCBOTS.com today announced the launch of a new robotics enthusiast website, targeted at audiences interested in creating PC-BOTs and exchanging ideas, support tips, photographs and more.

Inching towards launch
Wednesday, 13 July 2005
Most of the back-end functionality of the site has been configured and the members only features have been enabled and we're almost ready to launch. Coming soon...
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