The Associated Press is not in love with the new Rolly music robot from Sony.They have this to say..."it's a conversation-starter if your dancing hamster has run off" and "like all eggs, it's hard to figure out the point." Between calling it a dumber R2-D2, their verdict? "The world's most advanced (and expensive) cat toy." Harsh.
I actually visited the Sony Store here in Burlington, MA yesterday, and I don't think Rolly totally sucks. Overpriced at $399 - yes. Suck no. But the AP can have their opinion. We'll have our thoughts next week.
KumoTek is shipping it's latest robot kit, and it looks to be a winner. The “KumoTek-X” (KT-X) robot was designed to offer an entertaining, low-cost alternative to high-end robotics, while combining the latest in sleek design and cutting-edge robotics engineering.
The KT-X is the first low-cost bi-pedal robot platform of its kind to be offered in the U.S. that (a) can be controlled using a standard wireless PS2 gamepad controller, (b) is easy to use and (c) offers endless hours of entertainment.
The robot is capable walking, running, somersaulting and standing up from a face-up or face-down lying position. It can even be programmed to pull itself up autonomously after it has fallen over. It stands 13” tall, has 17 servo actuated joints (i.e., 17 degrees of freedom), a powerful 60MHz HV processor with 512kB ROM / 64kB RAM and comes fully loaded with over 75 preprogrammed acrobatic motions.
Best of all, the “KumoTek-X” (KT-X) robot can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled. Prices range from $990 to $1,490
We had the original Lego Mindstorms way back in 1999. We built a few robots, but really enjoyed the combination of programming the robots we built and building them. Mindstorms NXT is more than a toy, and if you're buying this for your son or daughter, remember they can build anything they put their mind to. Building anything that moves like a robot is really rewarding, and sure to put a smile on their face.
All-new NXT Intelligent Brick with 32-bit microprocessor, more memory and FLASH 3
Interactive Servo motors feature built-in rotation sensors to align speed for precise control and new sound sensor reacts to sound commands, patterns and tones
577 specially selected LEGO TECHNIC elements for sturdy and durable building and improved functionality and movement
Intuitive, icon-based drag-and-drop program "building" environment 6 AA batteries required (not included)
Lawn robots are all the rage, but getting one that stands and mows upright is still a ways off. This video shows a bipedal robot that needs a little help when mowing, and we think a cordless mower would help as well.
Swashbot is a bit creepy and cute all at the same time. Swashbot is a radio contolled robot or an R/C robot. There's no onboard magic here, but there is a person behind the amazing moves that Swashbot can do. What we like is the lack of a full set of legs, and the face is really unique. Swashbot is meant to almost be more of a crab robot than straight up insect robot. Check out the Swashbot cat encounter below to see some cool Swashbot moves.
Sony has announced their funky music gadget Rolly is now available in the United States for purchase at $399. The palm-sized, egg-shaped device rolls and spins like it’s dancing to the music. We're really excited to see the Rolly in the US and hopefully our local Sony Style store has one for demo.
With built-in robotic technologies, Rolly is designed to move its small arms, shoulders and wheels—six moving parts—to the beat of the music. With 700 colors in its repertoire.
The Sony Rolly device comes with choreography for three songs: “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (theme from “2001 – A Space Odyssey”), Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” and Earth Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.” The small device creates surround sound with the two integrated speakers.
The Sony Rolly is now available at Sony Style retail stores nationwide and is available online now as well.
With the new Pixar and Disney produced Wall-E movie coming very soon, it's no surprise that Disney is getting into the robot toy craze. Disney Consumer Products is collaborating with Pixar, Thinkway Toys and WowWee to Develop Robotic Toys That Talk, Dance, Fly, Respond to Commands, Feature Motion Tracking and more.
The robotic toys are inspired by Wall-E, the adorable robot from the Disney·Pixar theatrical release of the same name set to debut this summer, and Tinker Bell, the beloved Disney Fairy. The iDance Wall-E dancing boombox will be available in June; the Ultimate Wall-E robotic toy and the remote control Tinker Bell flying toy will be available this fall. With life-like movements and features designed to impress and delight fans of all ages, these new robotic toys are anticipated to be big hits with holiday shoppers this year.
iRobot unveiled its latest robot at the CES show in Las Vegas - the iRobot Create. It's a programmable robot, so you can make it do pretty much whatever you want. There's an attachment you can add that's perfect for you to set a hamster in a spinning wheel on top, thus driving the iRobot anywhere the hamster wants to go.
Oh Asimo, you're such a busy robot. Not only can you walk, dance, and climb stairs but you can also direct entire symphony orchestras. Awesome. Asimo is really quite a robot, and this video showcases how far robots will go in the next few years. Perhaps we can get Asimo to replace Keith Lockhart here in Boston - perhaps the most annoying conductor of all time. Our fingers and crossed - ASIMO SAVE US!
Oh Clocky - where were you when we missed our final exams in college? Chasing your alarm clock around will definitely get your blood flowing early in the morning and get you to your exams. Clocky will not turn off until you find it, and laying there with Clocky roaming around won't make sleeping in easy either.
Eve, the female character to stand opposite Wall-E the new Pixar movie focused on robots was designed in part by Apple lead designer Jonathan Ive. But what's funny about it being "designed by Ive" is the fact he didn't do any of the designs - he just gave approval with simple nods of his head to the ones he liked presented by the Pixar team. Ive has had little to say about the design for the robot for fear of giving away the possible design direction of what he was doing for Apple in the future. Oh well - the design is very striking, and we think a good pick if you ask us, even if it is a little iPod like.
Sherlockbot is a short by Waverly films - a group of Brooklyn short film creators posting weekly clips to their site. Sherlock bot is a short film gem. In the distant future a lonely boy creates a robot to help him find the thief who broke into his piggy bank. Hilarity and mayhem ensues...
We're not sure you can have a Robot blog without covering products from iRobot, and that's not a bad thing. We love our little Roomba vacuum cleaning robot, and think they're hard to beat. Recently iRobot has improved the Roomba with the 500 series.
The robots are much more reliable and some of the upgrades include:
Improved cleaning performance
Easier to use, maintain and upgrade
Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™
Won't get stuck
Wireless Command Center
We've seen the new 500 series in action, and it really has improved from earlier Roomba models. We noticed the Roomba 500 series doesn't get stuck on the edges of carpets as much (it can still get stuck). We also like the on-board scheduling feature.
For competition however you can look to lots of different robot vacuum products if Roomba isn't for you. Other robot vacuums include the Infinuvo Cleanmate and the Vesture TrackVac. We'll cover these as we get more details on them.
There's really nothing like a chattering robot dog to wake you in the morning or when you get a new email. The WowWee Chatterbot will not only chatter whatever info you feed it, but you can be rest assured it will eventually drive you nuts.
The $49.99 Chatterbot is available in three characters, the Devil/Angel, Dog, and the Fairy Godfather.
Works with email, calendar events, instant messaging programs and more!
“Speaks” through its own built-in speaker
Connects to computer via USB Plug in an MP3 player to use as a standalone speaker*
Easy to install software compatible with both PC and Intel® Macs For interactive fun, trigger random comments and factoids
If you're looking for a pretty impressive set of mostly CGI Robots, the look no further than the below Part I and Part II of the most striking Robots Ever! We really like the Obsolete Robot above. Like most "tech workers" he seems like he's somehow worked himself out of a job.
For $14.99 you can get one of these robo shaped desk vacuums, and finally clean up those pencil shavings. Simply push the top button to activate suction and slide over dry crumbs, pencil shavings or other debris. Powered by two AA batteries (not included). We're pretty fond of the blue-black robot, but perhaps RED is all the rage in desktop robot vacuums these days.
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