Big in Japan: The spying robot comes to America

The difference between men and boys is truly the price of their toys…

Last month, Big in Japan reported about the latest and greatest robot, namely ‘Eternal Maiden Actualization’ or EMA, a 15 inch tall robotic girlfriend that kisses on command.

However, just in case you thought that robots couldn’t get any cooler, I would like to introduce you all today to the Rovio, a remote surveillance robot created by the brilliant minds at WowWee. With a retail price of US$299, and an estimated shipping date of early fall, the Rovio raises the bar for home surveillance, baby and pet monitoring, long-distance communication and straight-up coolness.

Basically, the Rovio is a mobile robotic web camera that is equipped with a state of the art micro-GPS system known as Northstar. This sweet and sophisticated tech allows the Rovio to act as a mobile sentry capable of plotting waypoints around your home, and patrolling between them with precision and accuracy.

As if this wasn’t enough of a hard sell, the Rovio is also equipped with a flexible arm and an array of onboard sensors, which are together capable of filming and recording everything that is going on inside your home, and streaming this info to the internet.

How awesome is that?

If you’re frequently traveling for either business or pleasure, you needn’t fear anymore about what’s going on inside your home while you’re out there on the road. The Rovio, a remote surveillance robot that is set to hit stores in America this fall, is designed to give you an intimate look at the inner workings of your home or work space, even if you’re thousands of miles away.

The built in web camera on the Rovio has full audio and video streaming capabilities, and relies on the standard 802.11b/g protocols for WiFi access. These data feeds can be accessed over the web from computers, cell phones and even some video game consoles.

If you’re out to dinner with your better half, check to see if the babysitter has invited some unwanted guests over, or if Spot is behaving himself. With the touch of a button, you can activate Rovio’s mic and speaker, and either scold the babysitter for making out with her boyfriend, or yell at Spot for drinking out of the toilet.

Using simple to understand software that is both Windows and Mac compatible, you can easily program the Rovio to follow set waypoints and patrol a specified path. The onboard GPS system of the Rovio is self-correcting, so there’s no need to worry if your pet gets in the way, and knocks your personal sentry off course.

Here’s the coolest part: you can remotely order the Rovio to return to its charging station with a single command. So, you never need to worry that your robotic guardian’s batteries are going to die, even if you’re away for a long trip.

Want one? Sure you do.

Hammacher Schlemmer is accepting orders, so click on the link and get yourself an early X-mas gift. Then, fire up the Rovio to spy on your family members, and see what they’re getting you for X-mas!

** Special thanks to Robert Oschler over at for alerting robot lovers everywhere about the availability of the Rovio in America **