Stay at home, send a Linux-powered robot to ComdexNov 14, 2000, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Craig)
By Andrew Craig, VNU Net
A web-enabled robot that can keep an eye on your home while you're away on business and even attend trade shows on your behalf is likely to please Comdex delegates this year.
iRobot has a built-in Apache web server running Red Hat Linux and is powered by an AMD K6 chip. Its 'head' contains sensors and a webcam so that it can navigate around objects and relay pictures of what it 'sees' via the web.
iRobot's wheels let it climb stairs, and its 2.4Ghz wireless link has a range of up to 150 feet, making it suitable for most homes and some offices - one suggested use is tracking those people in your office who never answer their phone.
iRobot carries a heavy $5000 price tag, which includes a JuiceBar charging station where the robot will recharge itself.
Its makers are hoping iRobot will attend trade shows on their and their visitors' behalf, relaying images across the web. With a million square foot of Comdex floor to cover, this is a move most delegates would welcome.