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Willow Garage offers cheaper PR2, minus one arm

Get your one-armed PR2s for only $285,000. They're perfect for robot-human arm-wrestling.

Willow Garage

Realizing too late the threat of its PR2 robots taking over the world, Willow Garage today began offering a less dangerous version with only one arm.

The PR2 SE can be yours for the low, low price of only $285,000. That's way down from $400,000 for a two-armed PR2, and a discount is even available to those who make significant contributions to the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) community. Users can buy another arm later if they want.

PR2 has made the rounds of late with its skills in helping people, reading, cooking, tag-teaming with a TurtleBot to serve drinks, and fetching beer.

Willow Garage says about two dozen PR2s, which went on sale last September, are being used by researchers around the world, and that PR2 SE will expand the community because it's more affordable.

Will the version with half as many arms be capable of only half as much? I doubt it.

Both bots now come with the Microsoft Kinect motion sensor, which dramatically increases their applications. Check out this recent vid from MIT's CSAIL lab showing PR2 playing cookie-baking chef.