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Toy Robot Company has Bigger Plans

Techstination feature for Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A toy robot company has bigger plans. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. There are basically two kinds of robots on the market these days. iRobot makes the serious variety…the Roomba and Scooba….designed to clean floors. They may have robotic smarts, but they don't look the way we've always assumed robots should look. Then there are toys with human or pet shapes…or the dinosaur model. WowWee makes all three. But the maker of Robosapien, versions 1 and 2 and the Robopet isn't stopping there. VP Art Janis tells us…

"Actually this is leading to robots that will help you around the house. Robots that will do chores for you. That's where WowWee's going. So what we're doing now is we're taking so called toys, but real robots, and marketing them, and marketing them to all age groups. But as we go along we're taking more and more higher tech robots around the house. Task driven robotics. So something that women, children, men, girls…everybody will use. And it will be sufficient to work off the Internet, help you around the house, easily maneuver, get things for you, read your emails, all of that's coming. And that's where we're taking…from a 99 dollar robot to somewhere in the few thousand dollar range coming up"

The invasion…Janis says…is a bit sneaky…but it's already under way. A new Robosapien that will include the ability to play music and videos on a color LCD screen, will arrive later this year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.