Set to be bothering the ankles of CES explorers this year are two new ‘bots from the WowWee stables: the slick, beetle-like Rovio and the frankly disturbing Mr Personality (shown after the cut). The Rovio, capable of being controlled from any internet-enabled device thanks to its WiFi b/g hookup, has a built-in movable VGA webcam complete with sound, and can stream live footage across the network to wherever you are in the world.
Rovio also has NorthStar navigation and positioning onboard, so that it can intelligently avoid obstacles – maybe it won’t be bothering too many ankles after all. LED lights let you see in the dark, and there’s a speaker in case you remotely find someone to talk to. Rovio has a recharge base to sit in when his battery is feeling weak.
Meanwhile, Mr Personality uses animated faces synchronised with jokes, daily horoscopes and ‘crystal ball’ predictions to thoroughly freak out anybody nearby. It uses a more standard remote control rather than the Rovio’s web-based one, but also has obstacle detection and can warn you when it’s – thankfully – running out of juice. 64MB of built-in memory can be augmented with SD memory cards, onto which new content and personalities can be loaded, or you can record voice memos (such as “get away from me, you gurning plastic freak!”) using the onboard microphone.
Hopefully the team will be getting some footage of the Rovio in action (and maybe Mr Personality if I’m particularly unlucky) while exploring CES 2008.