"Robot Story"; Mondo-tronics' "Robot Store" -- Where the Toys All Go!
But smaller computers are doing their part bringing toys to life in the real world, and the kids aren't just watching -- they're in control!
"Mondo-tronics' Robot Store" is a hot new "virtual store" filled with "all the miniature robots and related items we could get our hands on," said president Roger G. Gilbertson. "We expanded our traditional mailorder catalog and built a huge website featuring everything in the printed version." Net surfers can ride over to www.robotstore.com to browse and buy dozens of robots, kits, books and more.
Some robots "feel" their way with wire whiskers, or "hear" with tiny microphones, while others like "Spider" walk on legs, "seeing" and avoiding obstacles via infrared light. More sophisticated robots like "WAObot" and "CopyCat" can be programmed from a keypad, or even a PC. And all include ecologically-minded rechargeable batteries.
Prices start at $27.95 for the solder-it-yourself "Sonic Rover" that looks like George Jetson's car in miniature. It zips around until it hears a sharp sound (like a hand clap) or collides with something, then it reverses, turns, and shoots off in another direction.
"Hyper Peppy", a similar "bump and run" robot, comes with the circuit already soldered and retails for $39.95. It can be put together with simple hand tools in under an hour, and received the 1995 "Dr. Toy 10 Best Children's Creative Products" award.
"Budding roboticists can get very exciting results," said Gilbertson, "but not all these machines are pure kid's stuff." Robot Store also offers advanced single-chip computers, software, text books, Hollywood robot movies, even a university-level robot designed by MIT professors for their famous (or infamous) robotics classes. The "Mobile Robots Brains & Brawn" kit sells for under $500 and includes sophisticated programming tools for Macintosh or DOS computers.
As for the future of robotics, the pace is picking up. "The number of robot builders continues to climb and there are more robot clubs and competitions all the time. The response to our Robot Store has been beyond our greatest expectations," said Mondo-tronics' Gilbertson. Or perhaps as action hero Buzz Lightyear would say, the future lies "to infinity and beyond!" -0-
NOTE TO EDITORS: Color photos and TIFF files available.
CONTACT: Mondo-tronics Inc., San Anselmo
Nelson Roye or Roger Gilbertson, 415/455-9330
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|Date:||Dec 11, 1995|
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