WowWee's Rovio: 3-wheeled, Wi-Fi enabled robotic home surveillance
By Emily Clark
January 9, 2008
January 9, 2008 Have you every wondered exactly what your cat or dog gets up to when you’re not home? WowWee Robotics, the pioneering company behind Robosapien, has unveiled its new WiFi-enabled, remotely-controlled robotic webcam platform at the International CES. Known as Rovio - the 3-wheeled telepresence allows you to interact with its environment, surveying the home or office remotely through streaming video and audio transmitted via the Internet to your cell phone, PC or video game console. Video is captured through a built-in camera and NorthStar smart navigation boosts the units ability to act autonomously.
Working like a micro-GPS system, the NorthStar navigation and positioning system enables the Rovio robot to know where it is, locate the position of other objects, and accurately navigate through its environment under its own control.
Users can direct the movement of the robot, which travels via its three omni-directional wheels, in addition to controlling the neck mounted camera and audio. Internet controls include an option to store way points, so that with one click Rovio will move to that designated point without having to be guided there manually. Built-in LEDs also mean the robot can be used at night without leaving the house lights on. To ensure that Rovio doesn’t run out of power while you’re out of the house, the designers blessed it with the power of self-docking. By the press of a button on your web browser, wherever you are, you can send Rovio back to base to recharge and get ready for the next house exploration mission.
Rovio is not only a cool novelty, it offers a cost-effective addition to your home security or a moving web conferencing unit. The robot comes with built-in rechargeable battery, 1 X speaker, 1 X built in microphone and webcam, plus USB and Wi-Fi connectivity. Running on Windows Vista or XP, it can also able detect your computer settings to make the set-up process easier.
WowWee Robotics' Rovio retails for USD$299.