Comparison with WhitBox PC-BOT 914 (basic)

Granted the Linux PC Robot (LPCR) is not a product that you can buy, it is something you need to build, compare WhiteBox's Seriies-9 basic unit.

  LinuxPCRobot PC-BOT 9-Series (basic)
Height 25" 21"
Differential Drive yes yes
Drive Type Servomotor Stepper
USB Based I/O yes yes
MiniITX System Board yes yes
System Board Intel D510M0 VIA EPIA SP13000 LVDS
CPU Intel Dual Core Atom VIA C3
CPU Cores 2 1
802.11g wireless PCI USB
Cameras 4 1
payload 20lbs N/A
Cost Less than $500 $5795

The WhiteBox is obviously a well made product and has a lot more polish than LPCR, but is it really $5200 better? To put it in perspective, you could pay someone $125 an hour for a standard 40 hour work week to assemble your robot for you.

I'm not an idealist, I'm a capitalist at heart. I do like making money. I firmly believe that it is idiotic to try to charge so much for so little. I do not begrudge WhiteBox making money, (if they are) it is good to see people trying to commercialize robots, but it is my belief that $1500/$2000 for their product is the proper price point for a basic platform. Anything more is prohibitive and keeps it out of the hands of most of the would-be experimenters.

Robotics is fun, but it is a field that requires multiple disciplines. The learning curve can be pretty steep. Adding excessive cost raises the barrier to entry.