September 4, 2006 It’s been billed by some media as an over-the-top iPod accessory which is being somewhat unfair to the JPY108,000 (US$924) Miuro robot. Yes, it does accept the iPod, but as it’s much smarter than the average boombox, and it has its own wheels, it can be summoned from wherever it might be by remote control. Equipped with Kenwood speakers, it will stream any audio format (MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AIFF including web radio) wirelessly (802.11 b/g) from your home computer, has AM and FM radio, can follow set routes around the house, or remember the optimum spot to position itself in each room. It’s a new concept – a mobile, semi-autonomous boombox, which combines your MP3 collection, AM/FM and web radio and brings it to you.

The result of a joint venture between Japanese robot company ZMP (makers of Pino, e-nuvo and nuvo) and audiophilic icon Kenwood, Miuro can be reserved via the internet, as of yesterday, but only if you’re living in Japan. They’re promising delivery before Christmas 2006, with overseas availability expected in the second half of 2007 – we expect there’ll be shopping outlets on the internet with it the minute it becomes available in Japan.