April 5, 2022
Consumer robot maker iRobot has announced expanding its educational product lineup with the launch of Create 3, an educational robot and developer platform. Based on the Roomba i3 Series robotic vacuum platform, Create 3 gives educators and advanced makers an out-of-the-box alternative to more costly and labor-intensive robotics kits that require assembly and texting.
Instead of cleaning people’s homes, the robot is designed to promote higher-level exploration for people seeking to advance their education or career in robotics. The robot was launched as part of iRobot’s support of National Robotics Week, which runs through April 10, 2022, as a way to inspire students about robotics and STEM-related fields.
“iRobot is committed to delivering STEM tools to all levels of the educational community, empowering the next generation of engineers, scientists and enthusiasts to do more,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “The advanced capabilities we’ve made available on Create 3 to enable higher-level students, educators and developers to be in the driver’s seat of robotics exploration, allowing them to one day discover new ways for robots to benefit society.”
Create 3 adds new functionality to users, including ROS 2 compatibility, which enables communication for different components such as actuators, sensors and control systems. The inclusion of ROS 2 allows students to speed the development of their project by focusing more on their core application, rather than the platform itself. iRobot said learning ROS 2 also gives students valuable experience that many companies are seeking from robotics developers.
The Create 3 system comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Ethernet-over-USB host, and Bluetooth for communications access, along with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), optical floor tracking sensor, wheel encoders, and infrared sensors to enable autonomous localization, navigation, and telepresence applications. The robot also includes cliff, bump and slip detection, along with LED lights and a speaker.
The company also released a Python Web Playground for its iRobot Root and Create 3 robots, providing a bridge for beginners to learning more advanced programming skills outside of the iRobot Coding App. The Python Web Playground allows advanced learners to program the Root and Create 3 robots with a common library written in Python. In addition, a 3D simulation of Create 3 is also available, using Ignition Gazebo for increased access to robotics education and research.
Create 3 is now available in the U.S. and Canada for $299 ($399 Canadian), with availability in Europe, the Middle East and Asia later this year through authorized distributors. For more details on the system, visit this iRobot website.