July 21, 2007

i-Sobot, humanoid robot toy for adults

According to the latest new, one of Japan's top toy companies, Tomy Co. Ltd said Friday it would launch small humanoids, i-Sobot for adults to play with, hoping to tap a new market as the developed world gets older. Tomy Co. Ltd. said the target audience was men in their 40s and above.

The new humanoid robot, I-Sobot, is 16.5-cm (half-foot) tall robot, is able to make some 200 physical movements, including somersaults and other complex acrobatics, and even speaks some 180 words and responds to verbal commands.

The i-Sobot will go on sale in Japan at a cost of 30,000 yen (250 dollars) on October 25.

An English-speaking version will go on sale shortly afterwards in the United States. The company chose to make the Japanese-speaking robot white and the US version black.

A European launch is anticipated next year.

Tomy hopes to sell 50,000 units in Japan and 300,000 worldwide.

The robot will be the first product sold with Sanyo Electric Co.'s next-generation rechargeable Eneloop battery that aims to send an ecological message to consumers and help in reducing the use of disposable batteries.

Japan has one of the world's oldest populations as more seniors live longer and many young people decide that starting families would impose a burden on their careers or lifestyles.

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