It's no secret that I'm a big fan of low-cost sensory. In fact, I'm a bit obsessed with it. And lately, we've been in cheap-sensor overload. Last month I picked up a Kinect, although I haven't had a ton of time to play with it yet. Luckily it looks as though the OpenNI+ROS drivers will be in good shape by the end of the week -- when our semester ends and I'll have a bit more free time.

On the subject of ROS, I'm also a big fan of that. Which brings us to the true reason for this post: I picked up a Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum this week (Thursday) and it arrived Friday (Amazon Prime $3.99 next-day shipping FTW). Friday night I spent about 4 hours getting the laser scanner and motor basics lined up, and then drove it around for a little while to discover numerous bugs. This afternoon I worked out most of the bugs, although I still need to work on the odometry calculations a bit more. Anyways, here's a quick video:

A couple of thanks to send out -- had it not been for this blog post by Hash79 of the Trossen Robotics Community, I probably wouldn't have even bought a Neato -- but all that data! The Neato looks like it could be a very interesting competitor for the iRobot Create -- hopefully I can get the odometry/laser data to work in gmapping (so far, I've had *no* luck).

More tomorrow -- as well as a code release (after cleaning things up).