Tuesday, April 29, 2008

i-SOBOT: The World's Smallest Humanoid Robot

i-SOBOT humanoid robot toy If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever own a bipedal humanoid robot, I would have laughed out loud. I was lucky enough to receive this little wonder as a gift last year. Hammacher Schlemmer is selling i-SOBOT for under $200 now.

The i-SOBOT is just 6 1/2" tall and has amazing articulation. The robot is made up of 17 very small servomotors and two gyro-sensors for balance. The 23 points of articulation include the neck, arms, wrists, legs, and feet. One disappointment: no hand or thumb motions. Yet.

i-SOBOT has four modes: manual control, special actions, programmed sequences, and voice command. The robot has 180 preprogrammed individual movements, a 200-word vocabulary, and responds to verbal commands (in voice mode only). The preprogrammed actions are pretty impressive and mostly humor-oriented.

The robot is programmable allowing you to record sequences of moves. Without much in the way of a sensor array, it is more of an automated playback than an autonomous entity. Still, if set up carefully, you can do some pretty fun stuff with this robot.

I think the greatest promise of i-SOBOT lies in what hackers and moders out there will add to this robot. I know some people have started to hack the device. As a platform for humanoid robotics, this has got to be one of the best deals around.

Get more info and see a video of the i-SOBOT at Hammacher Schlemmer. They have the best price currently online.

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