My company's looking at the option of using Android tablet for making kiosks. The thing is, the majority of the native settings must be blocked from the user, and very limited apps and utility will be exposed to the customer. From the looks of it, a custom ROM would be the perfect solution, but that requires some arbitrary device be rooted. But then rooting voids warrantee, and this is meant to be a commercial product, so some kind of warrantee is needed. Is there an alternative method? Or what's the legality of commercial rooting?
For a solution like a kiosk you would use dev hardware where you have full access to the hardware (JTAG for example) and then you would push your own Android build with root access enabled and then push the ROM to the dev board.
That said, for a kiosk type deployment you would NOT want root access available. Therefore when you push your ROM root would not be enabled.
I think your confusing root access and an unlocked bootloader.
By a dev board and learn how to build your own ROMs. :)
Did you have a look at applications such as KioWare and SureLock Kiosk Lockdown? These seem to be able to put your device to a kiosk environment. Im certain there are more alternatives for this purpose out there.
Another option would be to implement your own home screen application. This answer from stackoverflow might help with that.
You could use SuperLockLite Secure Kiosk if you have Samsung device. Have a look at this free app, it does not require rooting of phone.