Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

A Robot in every home

by Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

There's going to be an interesting battle of robots in the next year or so, and we're not talking about the Transformers. A number of manufacturers are going to be pushing more robots further into the home and will be fighting for consumer dollars, which means their products are going to get better and cheaper.

La Jolla, Calif.-based WowWee, maker of the successful Robosapien toy, is releasing a robot called Rovio for the Christmas season. The Rovio, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and shown off again at the RoboBusiness conference here in Pittsburgh, is a "tele-presence" robot, or a device that lets the user see what's going on at home when they're not there.

The Rovio is a cute little robot that looks a bit like a very small dog. It moves about on three multi-directional wheels and has a swiveling head that houses a camera, microphone and speaker. Its coolest feature is that it connects to the home wi-fi router, which lets the user control it from any computer with an internet connection. That means the user can roll the Rovio around their home and see what's going on while sitting at their desk at work.

The user can also communicate with people at home via the microphone and speaker, so parents can remotely curse out children for watching too much television, or politely tell the robber that just broke in that the police are on their way. In all, it's a pretty nifty home monitoring and security gadget.

Wary of letting WowWee onto its "home" turf, robot vacuum cleaner iRobot is also working on its own tele-presence machine, the ConnectR. The company hasn't announced a release date yet, but the ConnectR – which looks very similar to iRobot's circular Roomba vacuums and works very much like the Rovio – is unlikely to hit stores much later than its rival.

The best part about these tele-presence robots is their prices. The Rovio is going to sell for $299 U.S. While iRobot hasn't set a price on the ConnectR, it's likely to sell in the same $300 range that its vacuums go for. Once the competition between the two gets rolling, those relatively low price points are likely to drop even further. With such low prices, it may not be long until there's a robot in every home after all.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Garet

Winnipeg

I'd be happy with R.O.B.

Posted April 10, 2008 01:43 PM

coolness

work

when are they going to make a transformer?

Posted June 15, 2008 06:55 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Updated 16 dead after hot air balloon crashes in Texas
There were no survivors after a hot air balloon, believed to be carrying at least 16 people, caught fire and crashed in central Texas, the state's Department of Public Safety confirms.
Doping investigator faces 'deluge of requests' on Russians
The author of the report that that accused Russia's sports ministry of overseeing doping among Olympic athletes in more than two dozen summer and winter sports has been inundated with requests to name the individuals implicated.
Belgium arrests 2 brothers, charge 1 in attack plot
Authorities in Belgium have charged a man with planning to commit murder in a terrorist attack and released his brother after a series of house searches.
more »

Canada »

Quebec motorcyclist dead after biker group tries to pass truck hauling camper in northern N.B.
A 51-year-old Quebec man died and nine others were injured after their motorcycles crashed in a "domino effect" while trying to pass a truck hauling a camper trailer near Edmundston, N.B., on Friday night, police say.
Slain Whitefish First Nation couple were 'wonderful kids' destined to lead their community
Two bright futures went black, like someone flipped off a light switch, earlier this week, when someone shot and killed Dylan Laboucan, 17, and his girlfriend, Cory Grey, 19, and dumped their bodies on two separate wellsites on the Whitefish Lake First Nations reserve.
Why video could be key in probe of Abdirahman Abdi death during police arrest
Video was an essential piece of evidence in a Toronto police officer's recent conviction, and could prove important in other cases involving police — including the recent death of an Ottawa man — because of constitutional restrictions placed on investigators, lawyers say.
more »

Politics »

Feds expect provinces to ratify free trade deal next year, with booze in the mix
Canada's provinces and territories will ratify a free trade deal next year and the federal government is pushing hard to include an ambitious liberalization of alcohol laws in the agreement despite provincial intransigence, the country's economic development minister says.
Analysis Details of interprovincial free trade deal won't be public for months
It could be months before Canadians learn what's really in — and more importantly, out of — the interprovincial free trade deal Canada's premiers announced in Whitehorse last Friday. Not only is it not finished, but at least one part clashes with another trade deal.
Analysis Clinton, Trump and trade: The curious case of the Democrat attack dogs that didn't bark
Speaker after speaker at the Democratic convention condemned Donald Trump — but not even Bill Clinton, who fathered NAFTA, found fault with Trump's pledge to rip it up. Ditto, Hillary Clinton. This doesn't bode well for Canada.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

JK Rowling hopes Harry Potter stage play goes global
The stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had its gala opening Saturday in London's West End and is already the theatre event of the year.
Jennifer Aniston's essay inspires actresses to address sexist standards
While actresses are cheering Jennifer Aniston's recent essay connecting the media's obsession with her looks to the overall objectification of women, most are resigned that reality will be slow to catch up with the conversation.
Court order narrows down Prince's potential heirs in estate fight
A Minnesota judge overseeing Prince's estate narrowed down the wide pool of potential heirs for the late superstar's fortune on Friday, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.
more »

Technology & Science »

Emoji equality: Useless trend or meaningful push to encourage diversity?
Google's announcement of 11 new emoji depicting women in different professional roles is the latest push for more diversity among the selection of tiny characters.
White dwarf star blasts its red giant companion with powerful radiation beam
Astronomers have discovered a new and unusual type of binary star lurking in our corner of the universe: one where a tiny white dwarf appears to blast its companion star with a beam of electrons every two minutes.
Employers now responsible for protecting their workers on social media
A recent labour ruling is setting a precedent for companies that use social media to respond to customer complaints.
more »

Money »

B.C. taxes foreign home buyers and gold's lustrous climb : BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
From the introduction of B.C. new foreign home-buyer tax to new research on the benefits of higher education, it was a busy week in business news. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen sorts out the details in her weekly video recap.
Feds expect provinces to ratify free trade deal next year, with booze in the mix
Canada's provinces and territories will ratify a free trade deal next year and the federal government is pushing hard to include an ambitious liberalization of alcohol laws in the agreement despite provincial intransigence, the country's economic development minister says.
Employers now responsible for protecting their workers on social media
A recent labour ruling is setting a precedent for companies that use social media to respond to customer complaints.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Rogers Cup: Simona Halep reaches final for 2nd straight year
Simona Halep is in the final of the $2.4 million US women's Rogers Cup for a second straight year.
Player's Own Voice Quest for Olympic medal takes cyclist on historic road
Canadian cyclist Georgia Simmerling isn't motivated by stats or numbers. So when the Vancouver native is asked how she feels about becoming the first Canadian woman to compete in three different sports at the Olympics, she doesn't have a answer. Only that a medal won't define her career.
Rogers Cup: Raonic eliminated after loss to Monfils video
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic fended off Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-6 (6), 6-4 on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »