In celebration of National Robotics Week, iRobot is launching the Create 3 kit. It’s an educational robot based on the modern Roomba design, minus the ability to vacuum. But hey, it can detect walls and is insanely customizable.
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of the last two Create robots, it’s because iRobot hasn’t launched a new one since 2014. The new Create 3 is a much-needed upgrade, with enhanced optical floor tracking, wheel controllers, and better IR sensors. There’s also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and speed detection.
Functionally, the Create 3 is compatible with Python, Ignition Gazebo, and surprisingly, the ROS 2 standard. Roboticists use ROS 2 to create some intense robots, so it’s good to see the standard in an educational toy. And as iRobot notes, ROS 2 allows you to focus more on a project’s purpose than its platform, which newcomers should appreciate. (You can even pair it with a Raspberry Pi!)
iRobot offers a ton of learning materials on its website, including guides to make the Create 3 glow like a fireplace, play music, follow pre-planned routes, or create art. More experienced coders can take Create 3 to the next level using robotic arms and other accessories.
The Create 3 robot kit is now available for $300 and comes with a charging station. If you have some coding experience, you can use the Create 3 simulator to get an idea of how Create 3 works before you buy it.