Autonomous, intelligent robots are great, but when they look like classic Transformers characters they're even better. The handiwork of Mellon University's Tekkotsu lab, the Chiara Robot has six independent legs, a claw arm with six degrees of freedom, and a combination of webcam and IR rangefinder for spotting objects and obstacles. Even better, this is no simple lab project: the Chiara Robot will actually be manufactured and sold by RoPro Design.
Video demos after the cut
The brain of the Chiara is a 1GHz Pico-ITX board, with 1GB of RAM and an 80GB hard-drive. It's loaded with Ubuntu and has the usual USB, ethernet and WiFi b/g connectivity, meaning you can remotely monitor and control Chiara together with allow the robots to communicate between themselves.
Chiara will be supplied assembled, and the development framework is written in C++ with integrated vision and kinematics, teleoperation and monitoring support. No word on when exactly the commercial version will ship, nor for how much, but it's listed as "coming soon".
Chiara stereo depth perception:
Chiara rolling a ball:
Chiara pushing toys:
[via Hacked Gadgets]