Over the past couple of days, RobotsRule's Robert Oschler - long-time tipster of all things servo-actuated - has been dancing a taunting dance before my jealous eyes, and crowing about having received his TOMY i-SOBOT robot. I'm surprised to report that I've kept my cool, and instead drowned my sorrows in the new English version of the TOMY website and these unboxing photos and videos of the diminutive 'bot from waziwazi.
waziwazi seem pretty impressed with their new toy: the smooth movements and sheer range of flexibility are incredible for a robot at the $299 price point, as is the potential for longer-term play thanks to voice command functionality, the ability to have two i-SOBOT units operating simultaneously on different frequency bands and the ease of operation (thanks to the damn sexy remote). They're not totally starry-eyed, though; the lack of on-board programming [Edit: Tomy have let us know that this specifically refers to PC programming being absent; you can combine 240 actions in a macro using the remote itself], reliance on IR line-of-sight remote control and absence of robot autonomy come in for some mild critique.
Robert is already trying to hook up his i-SOBOT to his Robodance software, which allows far greater macro and voice control as well as operating your robot via a Wiimote. He's promising us videos of the 'bot in action when he manages it.
i-SOBOT Hands-On Review [waziwazi]