We're big fans of promoting the adoption of free software for robotics use so we couldn't pass this story up. William Cox of RobotBox is offering a bounty to free software developers and robot hackers who are willing to reverse engineer the laser rangefinder on Neato Robotics's XV-11.
Inspired by Ladyada's Kinect bounty, I thought, "hey, why can't I do that?" So, I'm offering a $200 bounty to the first person that successfully hacks Neato Robotics's XV-11 floor vacuuming robot's laser rangefinder and releases open source documentation/drivers for using it on a robot. This type of sensor would be a great asset to small (and large) mobile robots and it's a steal for the $399 it costs to buy the Neato robot. I want to kickstart the process of documenting how to use it.
Maybe a kickstarter campaign should be set up because Willaim's $200 bounty has already been upped to $300. RobotNV on the Trossen Robotics forums is contributing another $100 towards the bounty. Anyone else out there want to chip in a few bucks to help promote software freedom and help reverse engineer some pretty cool hardware for robots?