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The Mercury News: Invasion of the Centibots

Dec 24, 2003, 02:30 (2 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Nicholas Donovan for this link. ]

"When Randy Gobbel joined SRI International a year ago, one of the coolest things about his new job in the Engineering Building was the little red robots wandering the halls.

"Wobbling around on three wheels and resembling mutant ladybugs, they'd stop at Gobbel's open office door and silently peer inside. 'Sometimes you feel like you just want to pet them,' said Gobbel, a computer scientist who is working on a biochemical database.

"The Centibots cost about $4,000 and are built from off-the-shelf components, including ordinary WiFi cards for communicating with each other and cheap PC cameras that send images humans can interpret. Via Technologies, a Taiwanese company with operations in Fremont, supplied the motherboards. A Linux operating system manages 1.2 million lines of code, written in Java, C and C++..."

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