Willow Garage’s Big Announcement: PR2 Robots Will Go On Sale Next Month

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Someone please lend me a few hundred thousand dollars, I have something I need to buy. Willow Garage just announced that its PR2 research robot would go on sale starting next month. The PR2 is a world class open source robot whose accomplishments include plugging itself in, playing pool, and light house-work. Willow Garage spent years, and reportedly millions of dollars, developing the PR2 as an advanced research platform and recently gave away 11 of the robots for free to scientists around the world. I talked to the Silicon Valley company to try to find out more details about the sale, but they’re being very tight lipped at the moment. I do know that the price will be around $400k, that prospective customers can contact Willow Garage for a quote and that there will be a more formal announcement as they get nearer to the sales launch. Who’s going to spend nearly half a million dollars on a research robot? Best guess: universities and private research firms looking to accelerate their robotics programs. Second guess: people who don’t want to get off the sofa to get a beer.

[image credit: Willow Garage (modified)]
[source: Willow Garage]