App Store for Robots; To Open with 500 Apps

January 6, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Now, it’s not only your smartphone or tablet that gets to do more with an app (which is always available at an online store), but robots are all set to join the bandwagon.

The Robots App Store is what we are talking about. It is aiming to have 500 apps when it fully launches.

It is an online marketplace which will allow you to download apps written by approved developers. The apps, of course, will introduce new functions to your robot.

For instance, you can get Roomba to choose the best beer based on its color and then it can clean up any spills. Or you can get NAO to feed the pets while you are away.

Well, this is not going to be a cheap deal. A few initial offerings on the site, which is currently restricted to beta testers, include tools that prompt Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao robot to fetch a Coke, if you pay $6.99 and a watchdog function for Sony’s Aibo for $16.99.

The store would keep 30 percent of the revenue, giving the rest to the developers. International Federation of Robotics predicts that there will be 9.8 million domestic robots sold in the 2011-2014 period, representing a value of $4.3 billion.

And store founder Elad Inbar believes robot apps could mirror the explosive growth of the Apple App Store and Android Market. Robots also wouldn’t mind doing more.

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