EMA (Eternal Maiden Actualization), the female "Femisapien" robot designed by WowWee and marketed in Japan by Sega Toys, it ready to hit stores here next month. According to the local Amazon website, he surprisingly agile humanoid robot will go on sale September 25, and is priced at 18,900 yen - or slightly under USD$200. While we understand the need for some price premium due to changes to meet local safety requirements and documentation localization, Sega seems to have gone way overboard with EMA's pricing. The same WowWee robot, named the Femisapien outside of Japan, can be easily purchased for under USD$80.
About a week ago, we had the chance to play with one of the EMA robots on display at a big electronics superstore, and were very impressed. Its mobility and design were quite a bit better than we imagined. It would make a perfect addition to our collection of robot humanoids, but not at over double the US price. As much as the Japanese public loves, and goes bananas for robots, EMA isn't likely to pick up many fans here, outside of the small circle of robot fans that have seemingly unlimited budgets and credit cards.