Robots at Home: Affordable Alternatives for Your Own NASA Curiosity Rover

Now that NASA's Curiosity rover has safely parked itself on Mars and started translating digital photographs with picture quality circa the 1990s, it's got us to thinking about our own little robot friends and who to invite into our homes as our latest tech pets. Come join us to see what's available in robo-tech that doesn't cost $2.6 billion dollars.


The Rovio Mobile Webcam
A Wi-Fi controlled robot sounds fun as it is but add streaming video/audio and you have your own little Mars rover, except you'll be terrorizing the dog at home while you're wasting time at work. The Rovio has been out for quite some time but it's still the sweetest remote controlled robot around.

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The Future is Here: Robot Sentries and Webcams

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Spykee the Spy Robot
The Spykee is but a toy from Erector, but for the price you get a Wi-Fi enabled robot for a fraction of the price of the Rovio, complete with webcam, speakers, and microphone.


iRobot Roomba, Scooba, Looj & Verro
The Roomba started things off and dozens of copycats have tried to suck up market share. They all seem to fall by the wayside as the mighty Roomba has ruled the roost as the robotic vacuum cleaner of choice. The lineup is expanded to include mopping, pool cleaners, and gutter cleaning robots as well. They even make for great artwork and provide pet rides.

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The Dirt Detective: Roomba 770
Robot Invasion: A New Wave of Roomba Alternatives
Customized Nintendo Themed Roomba Vacs
Roomba Art!

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Mint
The Mint has been the most successful robotic cleaner not named Roomba. Focusing primarily on hard floors it's a great alternative to the Roomba and looks sleek to boot.

MORE MINT ON APARTMENT THERAPY
Mint Plus Automatic Floor Cleaner
Mint, the Roomba for Dirty Floors


DIY: How to Build a WiFi Robot Spybot via Instructables
You can even make your own rover like the NASA guys and gals, replete with wood frame, antennas sticking out everywhere, a webcam mounted up front, and big tires!

(Images; as linked above)