Wednesday, June 06, 2007

HiTec RoboNova-1: Robot, Toy, Automaton, Art?

I have been asked publicly and privately where I draw the line between robot and automaton. As of yet, I do not have a well-reasoned answer. I have also been asked about the line between objet d'art and toy. Again, my answer is a murky one.

While this blog isn't about robots, I have a great fondness for them; I have made a few myself. With all of this gray area, why not show you an autonomous toy robot?

This 12 inch tall mechanical man can walk, run, do flips, cartwheels, and perform dance moves. At $1300 (or $1000 for an unassembled kit version) one hesitates to call it a toy. Perhaps because it can be programmed, we would also hesitate to call it autonomous. Just because it is sold en masse, are there not elements that qualify as art?

All I feel certain of is that RoboNova-1 is a technological marvel. I have no doubt that watchmakers, engineers, magicians, and automaton-makers of old would have found this thing as fascinating as I do. I would love to have one (in order to do a proper review for you, of course).

Check out the HiTec RoboNova-1 at Edmund's Scientifics.

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