Meet Rovio from WowWee:
Looks like something from a Terminator movie, eh? Fortunately, it’s not that menacing. In fact, this little guy is your buddy - a Wi-Fi enabled web cam and sentry robot.
Controlled by any remote device that can access the Internet (such as a PC, a video game controller, or a cell phone), Rovio makes for quite a handy security gadget when you are travelling abroad. Equipped with a 640 x 480-resolution video camera and a two-way microphone/speaker system, this little robot allows real-time interaction with people from anywhere in the world.
The camera boom extends Rovio’s “eye” to gain better perspective of its target.
It can also take still photos and e-mail them directly to you—a nifty little trick if you are being robbed. Immediate evidence.
The microphone and speaker come in handy for more than just security purposes. Picture having one of these little whoppers in an office environment. Web conferencing would be quite easy. Just tool Rovio into your employee’s office and talk away!
On a side note, I find that kind’a scary. Pictures sitting in your office and having this thing just roll in and start chewing you out for messing up on a proposal. It would be like getting reamed out by a miniature version of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.
Three wheels allow Rovio 360º of movement via remote control as well. You can also program up to 10 paths for the robot to follow on it’s own. It navigates via an infrared sensor, and will continue on this preset path until you issue new orders.
Rovio’s battery life is only two hours. But don’t fret! When the battery hits a certain level, just punch in the order for the robot to return to its recharging base and it will plug itself in for a nice, refreshing two-hour drink of electricity.
While you can control Rovio from anywhere in the world, you will need some basic equipment at your home base to interface with it. These include a PC with Windows XP or Vista (or a Wi-Fi equipped Mac), and a broadband internet connection with a router. Rovio can roam 100 feet away from the wireless broadcasting source (the router).
This short demo will give you a good idea of the capabilities of the cool little gadget.
You can get your very own Rovio sentry robot at Amazon and WowWee.