Meka Robotics, based in San Francisco and led by co-founders Aaron Edsinger and Jeff Weber, have announced the Meka M1 Mobile Manipulator. Inspired by the successful design of a Georgia Tech robot named Cody, the robot, which is designed to lift and carry objects and work in environments with humans, features compliant force control throughout its body, a customizable sensor head, durable and strong grippers, and a small footprint omnidirectional base.The M1 comes in two versions: M1-Standard and M1-Custom.
The M1-Standard includes:
The M1-Custom can be customized to meet different research needs, including:
Pricing for the M1-Standard is $340,000, including a one-year warranty. M1-Custom pricing depends on the selected upgrades and features over the M1-Standard model. Meka will work with institutions to help secure grant funding to purchase either unit.
Meka has been building mobile manipulator sub-systems since the company spun off from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in 2006. By combining its own modules into the M1-Standard and M1-Custom, Meka aims for durable operation, substantial robot-on-time, and rapid experimentation and development.
All Meka robots use their M3 real-time control system. The M1 units also include the ROS (Robot Operating System) software stack from Willow Garage. Meka is pushing deeper with ROS integration, and has announced that upcoming versions of M3 will integrate much of the software generated by the ROS community.