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WowWee usually rolls out a number of new bots each CES and this year is no exception. I’ve been a little disappointed in the new bots coming out recently. I’m not seeing much beyond cosmetic changes — different characters or bot skins. New tech, that works, seems less forthcoming. I didn’t have high hopes for the TrueTrack waypoint navigation they brought to the Rovio and my messing around with it has only confirmed my suspicions.

Amongst this year’s toybots (e.g. Joebot — think: male analog to the Femisapien and Roborover — successor to the Tri-Bot), the Spybot looks interesting, a leaner, meaning (next gen?) version of the Rovio. And it’s only $170. It doesn’t appear to use TrueTrack nav. Let’s hope the light is brighter and the camera is better than the Rovio.

Strange among this year’s offerings is the Cinemin, a family of palm-top video projectors using TI’s DLP technology. They’re designed to plug into iPods, phones, and other media devices, to project their content. Will the next Robosapien be able to project Princess Leia’s cries for help? The Cinemins will retail for between $300 and $400.

More info on all these bots and the Cinemin projectors can be found at Robot’s Rule.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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