Earlier this month we were lamenting the dearth of consumer robotics in 2009, and it seems someone at WowWee has heard our cries. The company has released preview information of two upcoming 'bots, the WowWee Roborover (left) and the WowWee Joebot (right), both with remote-control functionality as well as autonomous modes.
Roborover is the first 'bot in WowWee's range to use a tank-track style system, and that allows him to climb over small obstacles rather than falling flat on his face. Either direct remote-control is possible - including a number of preprogrammed games and verbal content - or you can set Roborover to follow you around. The arms and waist aren't motorized, but are poseable, and the 'bot's "personality" develops the more you play with him.
As for Joebot, he's a walking robot with control either by spoken commands or by tapping his arms as joysticks. Obstacle avoidance is built-in, together with various games and a sentry mode, and you can apparently "shoot" him with any IR remote control.
The Roborover is expected to arrive in October, priced at around $69.99, while the Joebot is $99.99.