Last Friday, a robot was sent in to James Holmes' apartment by the bomb squad that placed a "water shot," a device that emits liquid and shock wave, near the main explosive device. When set off, this successfully deactivated it. FBI Lab experts determined that a trip wire would have been used to mix two liquids that would be set off when the door was open.
A robot with camera was used to check out the suspect's car and further study chemicals, aerial shells and other objects that could detonate or burn in the apartment before humans stepped in. More than 100 bomb technicians, chemists, ATF agents, local police and firefighters have been working on the case. Police retrieved personal items for some of the residents as they have not yet been allowed to return.
The P3 P4920 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is certainly affordable but is best used for picking up dust, animal fur and small crumbs. It has no brush and can get stuck more often than other robotic vacuums. It is probably best used on tile or wood, although the claim is that it can do carpet. The 11.5 x 11.25" P3 comes with 12 rechargeable batteries and AC adapter.
Interestingly enough, there is a budget-minded Dirt Devil RoomMate as well that is meant for hard floors. At a size of 12.3 x 14.6", it has a 50 minute run time with rechargeable batteries, dual cleaning brushes and step avoidance protection.
When Idaho decided it was time to attract tourists to Sun Valley, they created a robot that can skip stones. Skippy may only have one function but we expect that he was inundated with those who wanted to play with him. Unfortunately, he is no longer active. Still, he reminds us of those Mayberry antics of Andy and Opie.
Engadget got a hold of several of Hasbro's new Furbies and tested them out for the rest of us. This one is pretty much the same as the old one, albeit he is somewhat more advanced and has those freaky eyes. He responds to both human voice and music, and the more you play with him the more he morphs into new personality. An iPad app gives you more interaction and a way to feed him.
Although you cannot turn him off, stash him somewhere and he will go into sleep mode. No price announced but he will definitely be a holiday treat or trick, depending on whether you play with him or someone else does and drives you bonkers.
There seems to be a lot of highrise building in Toronto of late and sometimes panes of glass come loose and crash into the street. The Sobotka family devised a robot to handle inspections and go where only humans can tread for now, thus saving time and expense. SAM is a prototype at this point but can take photos on a motorized platform via an SLR camera. Control is with a WiFi connection and an iPad. Let's hope that their $200,000 seed money pays off and Canada recognizes SAM's value. If not, perhaps they can teach him to repair the glass.