Some have called Willow Garage's health into question lately, but the company may have a minor hit on its hands -- if through an unexpected channel. The firm has seen a strong enough response to its Velo robot gripper that it's mulling an early sale of the device this fall, at an educational price somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Whether or not that happens depends on feedback, however. Willow Garage is both offering notification sign-ups and running a feature survey -- if you need a different interface or better performance, now's the time to speak up. There's no guarantee of receiving a Velo when the company might ship just 50 to 100 of the advance units, but you won't get one if you don't ask, will you?