iRobot unveiled AVA, their technology demonstrator, at CES 2011. AVA, which stands for “Avatar”, is an autonomous robot equipped with Primesense cameras (similar to the Kinect), laser range-finders, sonars, and even the old-fashioned bumpers.
Although the computational-heavy sensor data processing and navigation is done internally by AVA’s on-board computer, the high-level control is left to whatever device is connected to its head. In the video below, you can see AVA being controlled by an iPad.
The future of AVA is uncertain, but it could be immediately useful for telepresence. Nevertheless, iRobot does not want to limit the public’s vision of the robot to a single application.