The Little Prince once said,
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
In his case he was referring to a series of drawings he had done of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant whole, but it took me delving back into Legos recently to fully understand that I am the rule and not the exception to his blanket statement.
Gizmodo.com is reporting that retailers will begin taking pre-orders for the forthcoming Lego Mindstorms NXT robot development kit starting April 1st. The system, priced at $249, will not ship until late summer and will be available at Amazon, Target, Fry’s and Wal-Mart. This follows the news from earlier this month that Lego had chosen 100 volunteers from a field of over 9500 applicants to take part in the NXT beta program.
A little over a week ago at the DEMO 2006 conference Ugobe announced their first designer life form, Pleo, a robot modeled after a one week old Camarasaurus. Pleo is the first offering from the new California-based robotics company co-founded by Furby designer Caleb Chung. In the weeks prior to the announcement, several tech blogs had begun ruminating about Ugobe and whether they could live up to the declaration on their homepage that their technology would transform “inanimate objects into lifelike creatures exhibiting stunning, organic movement and dynamic behaviors.”
When Sony announced recently that they would be terminating their well-known robot dog Aibo, robot enthusiasts began looking desperately for another company and product to fill the void. Last week, Ugobe, the California-based robotics company co-founded by Furby designer Caleb Chung, caught the attention of many tech blogs, including Robot Gossip, who wondered if they would be able to live up to the promise published on their homepage to “develop and market revolutionary robotic technology that transforms inanimate objects into lifelike creatures exhibiting stunning, organic movement and behaviors.” Ugobe stepped up to the plate this morning at the DEMO 2006 conference currently under way in Phoenix, AZ and announced details about their first “Designer Life Form” robot, Pleo, modeled after a one-week old infant Camarasaurus.
I’m a little bit late posting today so by now just about everybody else has already reported this, but in case you missed it (or in case NeuralDump is your sole source for news), You-Review.net has posted an interview with Mark Tilden, the controversial roboticist who’s responsible for the immensely popular line of WowWee robots including the Robosapien, the Robosapien V2, the Roboraptor, and the Robopet. The interview was conducted via Blackberry over the course of a week and covers Tilden’s thoughts on robot building and the role of microprocessors in simple robots, and offers some details about the new models announced at CES earlier this year.
WowWee announced three new robots at the Consumer Electronics Expo (CES) in Las Vegas last week, and the guys from both Gizmodo and Engadget were able to swing by their booth at the Sands Convention Center to get firsthand glimpses of the new bots, and to provide for us, the unfortunate non-attendees, some great pictures. The Robosapien RS2 Media, the Roboreptile, and the P-Bot will become available commercially over the next year and a half and will join the other immensely popular robots manufactured by WowWee including the Robosapien, the Robosapien V2, the Roboraptor, and the Robopet.
Gadget Madness is reporting today the first official sighting in the wild of the newest member of the Robosapien family, the Robosapien Junior by Playskool. Like it’s older siblings, the original Robosapien and the Mini Robosapien, Junior is one tough-looking robot. With “Bump-n-Giggle” technology (Hasbro’s term, not mine), it’s usefulness as a hacking platform is questionable at best, but I can’t think of a better (or cuter) way to introduce robots to the next generation of hackers, programmers, and scientists.