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Plush TV

For those of us who just can’t afford the latest in coolness with an HDTV or Plasma for the Holidays this year, we will just have to settle for cuteness. Taiwan’s HannSpree even outdoes Hello Kitty with their uniquely designed TVs which go beyond the merely functional. Available in 8 different plush designs, each has a 10-inch LCD display, a viewing angle of up to 130º, and a SVGA resolution of 800 x 600. The TV comes with its own remote and its cover is removable for cleaning. The critters are available online for $299.99, and HannSpree is offering free shipping and a 30-day return policy should your plush TV decide to misbehave.

Read More | HannSpree

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  R2-D2 droid

If a nut-cracking Darth Vader is too bizarre, why not settle for R2-D2? The droid has a mood status indicator, infrared location sensors, sonar navigational technology, sound processing mics, and motorized treads. He will respond to over 40 voice commands, plays music and dances, and can even play tag. He stands 15-inches high, weighs 6 pounds, and requires 4 AA and 4 D batteries (not included) and some minor assembly.

We first found the bot at Toys ‘R Us for $99.00, but he has apparently gone back to his galaxy far, far away temporarily. Maybe The Dark Force just convinced him to make an appearance on Amazon, where you can still get one for an inflated $379.95.

Read More | Hasbro

CUBOAdvanced bots aren’t just for adults these days. Unveiled at Korea’s Next Generation Computing Show 2006, IZI Robotic’s CUBO is a homebot designed for educational and entertainment purposes. When your kidlet clicks an icon in a book, the robot automatically recognizes it through its OID (Optimal Identification Device) and reads it to them. He can also monitor your home, give news and weather updates, and handles scheduling, e-mail, and wake-up calls. At dimensions of 225 x 150 x 150 mm and a weight of 1.5 kg, we just wish CUBO would get rid of that monster hiding in the closet.

Read More | IZI Robotics

Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe

Oregon Scientific’s Special Edition Interactive SmartGlobe takes you all over the planet without leaving home. Its 9.6-inch diameter and 15.35-inch height comes with a wireless pen and 3D barcode technology. It keeps up with the latest geological information, current events, and even election results through audio file downloads. Updatable for free until 2008, the SmartGlobe is available online at WorldGlobes for $119.99 in 9 languages and 3 versions of English. Do you suppose that one of those versions is politically correct?

 

Read More | Oregon Scientific

Fisher Price digital camera

Fisher Price has always been in the forefront of the holiday market, and this year is no exception. We tried to get their new Kid-Tough digital camera and didn’t have an easy time of it. This non-destruct camera features a 1.3-inch LCD preview screen, dual-handle grips, a 2-eye viewfinder, built-in auto-flash, and 640 x 480 resolution for 4 x 6-inch prints.

The camera’s 8 MB built in memory stores over 60 photos and has a SD memory slot for increased storage. Visit Fisher Price to check out more specifications and photo software requirements. Although it’s still 7 weeks away from Christmas, we barely got ours at a MSRP of $70.00, but you better hustle if you want to get yours.

 

Read More | Fisher Price

Matt over at IGN took some time out to give us a little video love from his Wii development unit. He walks us through the menu interface, showing off the settings that can be toggled, messaging system, and a couple of interesting things about the Wiimote. Launch is under three weeks away, but if you can’t wait, check out the video.

Read More | IGN Wii

Full Body Game SystemHave you ever wanted to be the paddle in Pong? Now you can with FeedTank’s Full Body Game System. The user interacts with simple graphic game objects which are in front of them. Choose between Color Shooter (the human version of Pong), Duck and Jump, and Two Touch. FeedTank featured the game system at last week’s NextFest in New York and has also created Dance Floor Moves, a projected interactive floor, and Transpose, an audio/visual instrument. Contact FeedTank for price and availability. We can’t wait to see what they can do with a karaoke machine.

Read More | FeedTank via NextFest


hitachi emiewIt just keeps getting scarier. Hitachi’s EMIEW (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate) is now equipped with a sensory laser for navigation. The new bot will make its debut at the 2006 WAC (World Automotive Congress) in Japan which begins October 23.

The EMIEW keeps its balance using internal gyroscopes. It can locate its owner by voice recognition and can perform basic household chores, such as retrieving items from other rooms. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t aim that laser on the cat.

Read More | JapanCorp via engadget


Ghunghong PandaThis little guy was just too cute to pass up. The Changhong Panda TV/DVD/CD combo was unveiled at Berlin’s IFA. The electric company’s CH1320DV pet has control buttons in its paws and its nose is the power button.

Other specifications and features:

  • Screen Type:Round
  • TV System: NTSC-M
  • Loading Capacity:620 Units (40HQ)
  • Power Supply: 120V AC, 60HZ
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3
  • Picture Modes Selection: (normal, movie, sports, ser)
  • Compatible with DVD/MP3/Picture CD/CD-R/CD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-RW
  • Multiple Angles
  • Parental Lock
  • Digital Audio Output
  • Screen Saver
  • OSD: Trilingual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Full Function Remote Control
  • On/Off Timer
  • Channel Scan

If this isn’t lovable enough for you, they also have a Penguin (CH1321DV) combo. You can tell us that you are getting this for your kids for Christmas, but we know better. Check with Changhong for price and availability.

Read More | Panda TV/DVD Player Product Page

winebotNEC and Mie University have teamed up in Japan to create the 2-foot Winebot, a cute little bugger that can not only discern good wine from bad, it can also name the brand and suggest a cheese.

“There are all kinds of robots out there doing many different things,” said Hideo Shimazu, director of the NEC System Technology Research Laboratory and a joint-leader of the robot project. “But we decided to focus on wine because that seemed like a real challenge.”

Speaking in an underage voice, the robot names the brand and adds a comment to its taste. It can also be programmed to recognize wine that its owner prefers. Because of its ability to analyze the chemical composition of wine or food placed next to it, it could caution its owner about such health-related factors as fat or salt content.

Winebot doesn’t come cheap. “Buying one of these would cost about as much as a new car,” Shimazu said. “We’d like to bring that down to 100,000 yen ($1,000) or less for the tasting sensor if we were to put it on the market.”

We figure that if you can afford the wine and cheese, you can afford the Winebot.

Read More | USA Today

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