Robotic Drool

Following the official release on June 11, Easy Digital Home Movies is finally available in bookstores everywhere. As usual, Amazon offers the best price available from any of the major retailers, discounting the cover price by 30%. For under $15, the book is an affordable introductory visual guide to video editing for Windows users. As I write this, Amazon only has three in stock. For those who prefer instant gratification, Borders is reportedly running an in store promotion this month as well.
The Gadget Envy section of this newsletter features a scanner which should make electronic document junkies drool. For photo preservationists, the Canon CanoScan LiDE 50 may be of more interest. With 1200×2400 resolution and 48-bit color, the family album will look just as good in digital. A full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements is included making the $90 price tag a steal. Unless I’m mistaken, this is the same scanner my brother uses for his image capturing needs.
Has anyone else noticed the great proliferation of robots emerging in the consumer market space? The Roomba is the only useful example currently marketed as anything other than a toy, but affordable robotics are popping up everywhere. Several months ago I excitedly announced the upcoming release of
Robosapien, which is a bipedal, programmable toy robot rivaling the Aibo in sleek design, while (at least in my opinion) serving as an infinitely cooler introduction for kids into the world of robotics. After months of hype, Robosapien is even available at Best Buy of all places. Asimov’s vision of a robotic assistant in every household is still several generations away, but a robotic future is looking more like a distict possibility. Do you have a favorite consumer robot? Are you building robots from kits at home? Tell us about them.


  1. I haven’t seen one in person, but I read somewhere about a robotic lawn mower – I’d much rather have one of those than a roomba!

  2. I have the older RoboMower and love it. After a one time set up for the parameter wire the unit does it’s job of cleanly cutting the grass.
    I don’t have to get out in the hot sun to mow the lawn.. I can just sit on the porch with a drink and read the email while the lawn is mowed.
    The unit is safe – the blade stops in less than a sec if the unit bumps into something or is touched by some one.
    It has all the geek things that you really need… like it talks, plays several songs including “Charge” before it starts the engine and has screeching car sounds when you press the stop button.
    The first time I used it.. people driving by stopped the car to marvel at the action. It’s really fun to watch.
    The newer models have lots of bells and whistles – such as auto timers and auto chargers. The cost of the older unit is less than the cost of a good push mower.

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