Many educational robots tend to be complex and expensive, or simple and cheap. Where's the middle ground for students who want to build sophisticated things, but don't want to pay a fortune just to get started? iRobot thinks it can reach that happy balance with its new Create 2 robot. It's effectively a Roomba 600 series vacuum turned into a hacker's paradise. Instead of the usual cleaning equipment, you'll find easily accessible, clearly marked spaces that practically beg for add-on hardware (like cameras and arms) and cosmetic modifications. It's the foundation for a robotics project rather than a fully accessorized (and therefore costly) machine, as CEO Colin Angle tells us. You will get many of the tools you need to get cracking, though, including a programming framework, example instructions and 3D printing files for extra parts. So long as you can write code and plug in through USB, you can turn the robot into a Bluetooth-controlled DJ, a miniature security guard or whatever else your budget and skills allow.