Last week, we reported that Wrex the Dog was showing up at select U.S. e-tailers. On Monday, WowWee, maker of CNET editor Bonnie Cha's favorite work companion RoboSapien, announced that Rovio the roving robotic Web camera is now beginning to show up at some e-tailers.
While Wrex is cute and all, he doesn't really serve any functional purpose. Rovio, however, is cute and extremely functional. His three roving wheels let him move in pretty much any direction. Using an indoor GPS system, Rovio is able to, quite impressively, find his way around the house.
His Wi-Fi-enabled Webcam lets you see whatever Rovio sees from anywhere in the world. You can access Rovio via a compatible cell phone or your PC from the Web. Let's say you're on vacation and you want to make sure your cats have enough food in their bowl. You can remotely send Rovio over to their kettle--no doubt, horrifying them--and get a streamed MPEG-4 video and audio feed. You can even take pictures and e-mail them.
Although the official releases date is September 26, so far, only two e-tailers that we know of have Rovio listed on their Web sites.
- Hammacher Schlemmer for $299.95 preorder
- Amazon.com Currently listed as unavailable
To get a real feel for how cool this thing really is and the potential of the technology, check out the amazing videos at the bottom of this page.