Robovie robot has an iPod Touch tummy

A new prototype from Japan's ATR Robotics and Communication Laboratories lab puts your iPod Touch at the heart of a new humanoid robot. Or at least at its stomach.

Robovie mR2 is a 30-centimeter-tall humanoid robot developed at Japan's ATR Robotics and Communication Laboratories. It speaks Japanese (in a kind of creepy-cute voice) and can communicate info from an iPod Touch that you insert in its stomach.

According to ATR, it is not only possible to control Robovie mR2 by touching the screen of the iPod Touch, but also via Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) or Bluetooth.

Think of it as a modern-day Teddy Ruxpin. Instead of cassette tapes, this robot can speak what's on your iPod. Considering the ubiquity of Apple handheld devices, there is a potential market for these kind of products.

And while iPod products tend to be used by teens and adults, there are some interesting scenarios for eBooks and learning games to make this robot enjoyable for gadget lovers and kids alike.

Robovie is a research platform created at ATR's Intelligent Robotics and Communications Laboratories in order to develop communication functionality such as voice dialog and skin sensing in robots.

Note: The video above is from December 2009. Not sure how we all missed this one.

(Via Akihabara News)

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