It's been a long seven years for the folks at White Box Robotics, but it appears that the company is all but ready to start pushing a limited production lineup of 914 PC-BOTs out the door. While a past interview
with White Box's CEO showed (false) promise of seeing shipments in 2005, an official pre-order page typically
means business. Those anxious to get their hands on a maid that won't demand a raise once or twice annually will be forced to pay substantially more than the company's target price (which seems to vary from time to time), but will receive a 55-pound motorized personal assistant reminiscent of R2D2
that comes prepped and ready to learn. The 21-inch tall 'bot sports a differential drive train with independent front suspension, two DC "stepper" motors, dual M2-ATX PSUs with automatic battery monitoring and auto-shutoff, head-mounted webcam, eight integrated IR sensors, an IO board rocking a myriad of control inputs, a VIA motherboard, 1GB of RAM, 40GB 2.5-inch SATA drive, DVD burner, WiFi, Windows XP Home, and most importantly, PC-BOT software (code name "Brian") to get those wheels moving in the right direction. The company boldly claims its robotic companion can do "anything you want it to do" -- so long as you can program it -- and should begin shipping "anytime" for around $5,000 (or $5,599.99 for the mounties in Canada).