Want to try out ROS (Robot Operating System) on an official Willow Garage product, but don't have the $400,000 required to pick up our old pal, PR2? You're precisely the audience the company is looking to hit with the TurtleBot, a (relatively) low-cost robotics kit (around $1,500) that looks a bit like small shelving united seated atop a Roomba. A couple of months back, the Bay Area-based company unveiled a sequel built on top of a new base, Yujin Robotics's Kobuki, which promises more speed, letting the plucky little 'bot run over small bumps.
Pick up the full kit and you're also getting a Kinect sensor and a low-end laptop. Willow's also got some add-ons like a small robotic arm that you can use to modify the thing. Stay tuned after the break to check out video of the 'bot's creators talking up the reptilian robot.