The app revolution goes on and it is all good news for us programmers. The latest platform to gain an app store are robots - and yes I agree that at the moment they don't form a single development target. We covered the introduction of the Robot-Apps app store earlier and now we have an interesting infographic which explains some of the ideas and issues involved in targeting this particular market.
To make it easier for you to view the infographic we have split it into two - the original can be download from Robot-Apps web site just in case you want to print it out and use it as a poster.
The first part is a summary of robots and what apps you might create for them. To be honest some of the suggestions are a little fanciful - the idea of Nao feeding pets is fun but I don't think you really want to leave Fido in the charge of an experimental Nao just yet.
Some are even amusing enough to raise a smile - the idea of a Roomba robot vac catching mice for example. What does it do when it catches one? Beat it to death with a sweeper brush?!
It also doesn't really explain some of the difficulties of actually downloading commercial apps into your robot of choice. But let's not split hairs, this is as much about inspiration as practical engineering. I also like the statistic that in Spain 1 out of 4 new vacuum cleaners is a robot - why?
The second part of the infographic is more about economics than technology. You can discover how the future robot app market compares to the mobile app market. At the bottom you will find estimates of prices of particular robots and typical associated apps. And is you didn't get a Nao or similar over the holiday season you can now see how much it would have cost.
There is no doubt that one day this brave new world will be a reality. There are aspects of it that are real now, and perhaps there is enough going on to float an app store. Whatever the current state of things it can only get bigger. Unless, of course, robots go closed source and closed API. One of the most depressing statistics in the infographic is the open source ROS (Robot Operating System) has only 5% of the market. I guess we have to hope that Apple stays out of the game until it is a little more mature.
An App Store For Robots
Nao Plays Jingle Bells
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