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Hitec’s Robonova-1 humanoid biped robot has been a big hit in Japan, where robot enthusiasts build the ‘bots and use them to fight each other. The robot made its U.S. debut at the International Toy Fair in New York City this week. The Robonova-1 kit is designed for serious robotics fans and costs about $1,000.
Lego’s Mindstorm robotics kit comes with 571 pieces. It’s equipped with four sensors: The new Ultrasonic Sensor becomes the “eyes” of the robot, measuring distance and movements as well as detecting objects. The new Sound Sensor is the “ears” of the robot, allowing creations to react to sound commands and patterns, as well as recognize tones. An improved Touch Sensor becomes the “fingers” of the robot, reacting to touch or release. And finally, the improved Light Sensor detects different colors and light intensity.
Want to spice up your data storage? Look no further than the fun and quirky Mimobots from Boston-based start-up Mimoco. These designer USB flash drives come in sizes ranging between 256MB to 1GB, and they’re preloaded with animation from the artist who’s character is depicted on the flash drive. The first two series, known as Cosmos and goSeries, feature nine characters designed by artist Yahid Rodriguez. A new artist series was launched at Toy Fair featuring characters from contemporary artists such as Tado and Shawnimal Smith.
The Robonova-1 robots perform a coordinated dance for the crowd at the International Toy Fair in New York.
Lego’s popular Mindstorm build-it yourself robotics kit has gotten an upgrade in 2006. The “brain” of the new robot is the NXT brick, which runs a 32 bit microprocessor that can be programmed from a PC, or for the first time, a Mac. After building their robots, kids create programs within the software to make the robot do all sorts of things. Programs can be downloaded via a USB port or wirelessly using Bluetooth. The kit will be available in stores this August for about $250.
The International Toy Fair was chock-full of tech toys this year, as toy makers showed off robots and gadgets for kids of all ages.
The Digital Song & Story Player from Fisher-Price provides preschoolers with a durable and easy way to play their favorite downloadable songs and stories. Headphones are limited to a certain decibel level to protect kids’ ears. The player is scheduled to be available in stores this summer for $69.99.
For those Saturday afternoons when kids want to rock the house, they can use the Digital Song & Story Player docking station speaker set.
According to manufacturer Fisher-Price, the Kid-Tough Digital Camera is the first preschool-appropriate digital camera that’s tough enough and easy enough for a preschooler to use. It’s a real digital camera and includes a 1.3-inch backlit color LCD preview screen that lets kids instantly see the picture they’ve taken and view or delete previous shots. It’s scheduled to hit stores this summer for $69.99.
Nowadays kids don’t even have to play with real dolls. They can play with virtual ones using Mattel’s Pixel Chix. These three-dimensional friends eat, sleep and hang out–all at the touch of a button.
Mattel’s successful virtual dolls, the Pixel Chix, now have cars. Kids interact with their Pixel Chix by using the seven buttons on the house to dress them up in new outfits, drive them to a party or send them upstairs to bed.
Fisher-Price’s Digital Song & Story Player comes preloaded with songs and stories. Moms and Dads can also add their own content to thernMP3 player, or they can buy new songs and stories from the Fisher-Price Online Content Store.