Time for a major hacker celebration! It's now official. Later this year, and obviously in plenty of time for the 2012 holiday gift buying season, Hasbro will be bringing back Furby.
The incredibly popular toy sold more than 40 million units between it's introduction in 1998 through 2007 when it was taken off the market by Hasbro.
Furby was, and continues to be, a favorite with hackers who enjoy nothing more than dissecting and improving on the cute little toy.
Sharon Vinderline, the founder and CEO of Parent Tested Parent Approved was on The Morning Show with her selection of unique and sometimes groundbreaking toys from the 2012 New York Toy Fair. While some of the toys won't be that interesting for some readers, in the final third of the program (video below) she rolls out some toys that incorporate technology in new, unexpected, ways.
’Technology Invades and Enhances Toys (Video)’ continues
Innovation First and UK Customs officials had nearly 7,000 robot clones seized and destroyed as they attempted to invade Southampton.
The mini robot toy insects were unauthorized copies of Innovation First's popular Hexbug product line. According to the report, the robots were manufactured in China and intended for sale online in the UK.
Here's another interesting, and memory provoking, infographic showing the most popular holiday toys that have come down the chimney with Santa over the past 30 years. It's a bit surprising how many of them have something to do with robots in one form or another.
How many do you recall, and how many did you own and play with personally? In my case, I had 8 of them, and still have most of the 8.
’The Most Popular Holiday Toys since 1981’ continues
The original Keepon robot, developed by Hideki Kozima at Miyagi University in Japan, was incredibly cute and engaging, to the point that people just couldn't help smiling, laughing, and moving in sync while the robot danced to music or used it's built-in sensors to interact realistically with them.
The Keepon design concept was intended to explore the possibility that a simple emotive robot could help autistic children with communication and learning challenges. Most autistic children tend to be completely overwhelmed by the volume of input and sensory data involved in even the most basic social interactions. It's kind of like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose. Kozima's insight, which turned out to be right on the money, was to reduce the flood of inputs to a minimum while packaging the robot in an appealing, friendly body.
Robots, more specifically distribution center robotics and automation have become the major competitive weapon in the escalating battle for retail customers.
It's stacking up to be a fight to the death with traditional brick and mortar chains struggling to catch up with online giants like Amazon. The big challenge may turn out to be that they are playing a catch-up game, one where Amazon has already paid it's dues and accumulated years, if not decades of know-how and experience.
"Walgreen Co. and Toys “R” Us Inc. are among the chains rushing to open distribution centers, revamp websites and integrate their stores more seamlessly into their online operations. Amazon, meanwhile, plans to open 15 distribution centers this year. “Many brick-and-mortar retailers have had their ‘a-ha' moment as Amazon continues to grow and the Internet is getting more viable,” said Mick Mountz, chief executive officer of Kiva Systems Inc., which has seen orders surge this year for the warehouse robots it sells to retailers. Last month Toys ‘R' Us opened a warehouse near Reno, Nevada, equipped with the Roomba- like critters, which shorten order turn-around time."
Toys ‘R' Us Deploys Robots as Retailers Seek to Catch Amazon - BusinessWeek