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Curious About QRIO

Techstination feature for Monday, January 26, 2004

Sony calls it, its dream robot. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It stands maybe two feet tall... walks on two legs... can get up if it falls down... can recognize faces... and has an extensive vocabulary. Meet QRIO...

"I'm Sony's corporate ambassador bringing consumers a glimpse of the future of entertainment and technology."

Sony has been selling its robotic dogs... the Aibo line... for years. The company's Jon Piazza says QRIO has at least double the processing power... and a lot more technology. But don't look to buy one. Sony says they aren't for sale...

"No, unfortunately, they're not. There's no concrete plans to sell QRIO. What QRIO is is an embodiment of Sony's expertise in hardware, software and IT technological fields." Any idea what it would cost or what Sony spent to make these? How many of them are there? "There are only a few QRIOs and basically it's an R&D project which took approximately three years."

What Sony does say is that there is a reason for making the robots so small...

"Well a lot of people, especially in American culture, are intimidated by robots. Especially autonomous robots. You've got to remember that QRIO has the ability to wander around your house. So we wanted something that people could easily relate to, embrace and not be afraid of."

Its size does hamper QRIO's ability to climb stairs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.