Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Robot Watchdog Giant Eyeball

Roborior is interior decor, guard dog
Associated Press

TOKYO - It looks like a watermelon-sized eyeball on wheels that glows in hues of purple, blue and orange while gurgling with whimsical buzzes and rings.

The new Roborior gadget works as interior decor, but it's also a virtual guard dog because it has a digital camera, infrared sensors and videophone capability - to notify you of intruders while you are away from home.
The $2,600 (280,000 yen) contraption by Japanese robot maker Tmsuk Co. and electronics company Sanyo Electric Co. can connect with the owner's mobile phone to relay streaming video taken on the robot's digital camera.
It can be remote-controlled with a handset to go forward, backward, left or right. The buttons also adjust the angle of the digital camera to look up or down.

Set the robot on "house-sitting mode" and it will call you on your cell phone when an intruder is detected by one of its three infrared sensors, designed to monitor all sides.

"This is a robot that can actually be used in people's home," Yuji Kawakubo, the official in charge of Roborior, said Wednesday. "It is inspired by jellyfish, a type of living creature that communicates through light."

Tmsuk has already produced the four-legged security robot Banryu, which is about the size of a large dog and sells for $18,000 (2 million yen). But the company, based in Kyushu, southwestern Japan, wanted to make a smaller robot that can better blend into homes.

Banryu 2002

AP Wire | 06/01/2005 | Roborior is interior decor, guard dog



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