Best of CES: $150 BeagleMiP Robot Development Kit and $99 WowWee MiP

Posted by Charbax – January 18, 2014

From the Coordinated Robotics Lab of The University of California, San Diego, here is the BeagleMiP Mobile Inverted Pendulum (MiP) educational robotics development kit from Strawson Design, able to balance and carry more weight on 2 wheels such as modules, extensions, sensors, hacks, 3D printed add-ons and more. While the awesome Arduino-derived $99 WowWee MiP device is the coolest consumer toy robot that I have seen at CES 2014 (which you can see starting at 19:36 into this video), the idea with BeagleMiP is to do even more with the system, based on the $45 Texas Instruments BeagleBone Black with a 1Ghz TI AM335x ARM Cortex-A8, they add their Novus Robotics Cape add-on PCB board to provide for all the robotics R&D connectivity. This video features UCSD Professor Thomas Bewley, UCSD PhD student James Strawson and USCD PhD student Saam Ostovari.

While the BeagleMiP will be commercially available as a $150 MiP robotics development kit, the WowWee MiP is going to be the world's first mass produced self-balancing Mobile Inverted Pendulum based commercial robot equipped with GestureSense technology (hand motion controls), bluetooth for Smartphone app control, fast speed, expansion for additional fun functionality. Carrying mode allows it to carry any weight, it also even has a port on the final model and can carry and balance any additional weight, including cameras, more sensors, modems, anything else users can think of.

As you can hear in the video, these UCSD students are also working on 40 centimeters tall versions of their MiP, which will be able to carry heavy bags like groceries for you and follow you around, for example.