The current issue of DIME magazine, a popular market trend watching publication here in Japan, has a short feature article on the soon to be released Omnibot 2007 i-SOBOT humanoid robot from Takara/Tomy.
Billed as the 'World's Smallest', the tiny robot packs a lot of power and technology into its 16.5 cm/350 gram body. According to one of the taglines in the DIME article, the i-SOBOT features "minimal size and price" for a humanoid robot, but with all the degrees of freedom, flexibility, and personality of it's bigger robot cousins.
The robot managed to capture enough attention that the DIME editors gave it the lead spot in the current issue. The initial i-SOBOT model should hit store shelves here in Japan in roughly two months, followed in the Fall by a more expensive model that will include Zigbee based communications and a built-in video camera so that you can use the robot to monitor your home or apartment remotely.
DIME is well known for reviewing a wide range of consumer products including cell phones, personal computers, digital cameras, and sometimes even includes reviews comparing convenience store fast food selections.