Caesar Robot Platform for Industry and Research: PR2-like Robot for 1% the Cost

Hey guys,

My name is James and I’m a Co-Founder at Empirical Automation, a robotics startup. Our mission is to make robots more accessible, especially for small businesses and researchers + developers, to help advance the field faster. I’m super excited to present to you our Caesar Robot Platform, an affordable industrial robot for only $3K USD:

Inspired by recent exciting work over the last few years in robotics and deep learning, me and a few college buddies wanted to try some experiments of our own. So naturally we went online and tried to buy a PR2 robot – and then realized we had a better chance of putting a downpayment on a house. And so it started! We set out to address to this big gap between research-capable robots that can accomplish tasks in the real world, and the small and impractical toy robots out there.

After many iterations and pilot trials, we are launching Caesar: a robot with “human worker-like specs” practical for repetitive factory-type tasks, as well as research and development. Aside from being a reliable and practical arm, Caesar comes with dual stereo cameras on its neck, and a wrist-mounted camera as well, so it can see what it’s doing, and collect data, from multiple perspectives.

In terms of software, Caesar comes with simple and intuitive “teach and record” modes so anyone can setup up automation tasks. A full programming API in Python is available, so you can access the sensors and motors with full control. With a simple USB plug-in interface, getting new software updates and features from us or any other developer is just a git clone away.

One more thing we’re doing in terms of software is developing a really simple and easy-to-setup robot simulator. Try out the free demo below:

It’s got a physics engine, model of Caesar, the ability to record and export data (robot commands + all vision data), and save/load/replay previously developed motion paths. Of course real Caesar has all these functions as well 🙂

Anyways, we’re very excited to show this community our robot and get your feedback! Caesar is available for orders right now, with a 4-6 week lead time as we continue to optimize our supply chain and production process. We’re currently putting together and delivering orders to academic researchers and a few industrial partners. So look forward to more media and cool demos in the coming weeks.

I’ll be around to answer questions and take notes from the community.


submitted by /u/EmpiricalAutomation
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