updated 12:55 pm EST, Thu January 11, 2007
iRobot at CES devoted itself to hobbyists by releasing the iRobot Create, a variant of the company's Roomba cleaning robot that strips the vacuuming abilities of the original in exchange for easily customization by hobbyists or students. A 25-pin port at the center of the Create lets designers program the robot by transferring commands as simple as scripts or as complex as C and C++ code; in tandem with the optional Command Module (pictured in green), the latter technique can actually be used to create fully autonomous behavior, the company says. The 25-pin port and the Command Module's serial ports are also used to attach peripherals such as cameras or limbs for use in more advance programs. An empty storage bay will also hold batteries or other objects that cannot be mounted. iRobot's Create ships today for $130, while the Command Module is available for $60.