Engadget is right: this does look like an aged, pudgy, and stoned version of Jen the Gelfling. Sadly, it's not; this is “Baizhixing” (”smart star”), a Chinese addition to the gambit to use robotics as a development toy (...after Teddy Ruxpin and Furbies. Yes, I consider both Ruxpin and Furbies were development toys; Ruxpin played audio tapes with cues, which were gee-golly-whiz moralistic stories, and Furbies tended to relate to you as you acted to them.) This one's a lot more technologically advanced, and is intended to help develop body language recognition in children -- because hanging around people doesn't help.
Why is it anytime someone makes robotic alien-types, they're either killer mechanical robots or cutsie little things? Doesn't anyone think they could just be different than us, but not really cute or not cute?Posted by Ted Stevko at April 26, 2005 01:09 AM