One nice thing about the CES show is that exhibitors get bombarded over and over again by the press, analysts, and curious customers. So, as the show wears on, the exhibitors wear down, and sooner or later they let more and more information slip. . .
The Gizmodo folks (see link below), known for their never-ending curiosity and persistence, managed to wheedle some additional tidbits from the Wowwee Robotics exhibit staff that gives us more insight into where the new robots might be headed, when they might appear on store shelves, and what their price tags might be.
The good news? The RS Media – the enhanced Robosapien V2 – is expected to ship with personality editing software so that users can create movements, actions, mix in sounds and music, and swap them in and out via the new SD card slot. The RS Media is stacking up to be a real robot dancing machine – which leads us to wonder if
Robot Robert, the creator of the Robosapien Dance Machine, had a hand in the RS Media development.
The down-sides? The release date is November, 2006 – which has us a little concerned given the availability problems experienced by wannabe V2 buyers in the run up to Christmas 2005. The target price is expected to be around $350 USD – the most expensive Robosapien robot yet. With the prices for the Robo-One robots already under $1,000 and falling while their functionality is increasing, we have to wonder when the two will meet. So far, Wowwee Robotics has pretty much had the field to themselves, but sooner or later we’ll see a lot of competition in the space. Perhaps as early as Christmas 2006.
The Roboreptile is billed as being able to run at high speeds (how fast?) on four legs and has an expanded set of moods and behaviors. The release schedule is June with a target price of $130 USD – more than the Robopet and Roboraptor prices, but still reasonable since the retailers will definitely discount it as low as $100 for special promotions.
It turns out that the P.E.A.BOT is an early prototype and won’t ship in time for Christmas 2006. The price is expected to be somewhere north of $200, and other than displaying a face for personality on it’s LCD display (Max Headroom perhaps?), and carrying beer cans around in its backpack, it looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer to find out what this particular bot is all about.