iRobot has developed a new series of autonomous Robots called Ava that are equipped with array of sensors like 3D cameras (like Kinect), scanning laser, ultrasonic transducers, driven by omnidirectional wheels. They are powered by base hosts batteries, motors, as well as electronics and supports a telescopic mast that carries a pod containing touch ribbons, speakers, and a microphone.
iRobot Ava is based on Intel Core-based computers with a tilt capable head on top of with is basically an Android tablet. Ava is capable of roaming around by studying the ambiance, even with people walking around, it can save itself from actually hitting anyone. The onboard computer does all the computations to let it walk without trouble.
Google and iRobot have worked together and created APIs that allow Android developers to write apps — from telepresence to roaming testimonials — that control Ava wirelessly from the docked tablet. This would bring new projects which combine the power of robotics and Android devices. Its hard to talk about prices and timelines at the moment, but they are about to hit the market and developers sometime later this year. Stay tuned.