Gadgetbox: Aging robotic dinosaurs

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I have one word for you—one word that is going to change your life forever. Robots. Second only to flying cars (and, okay, perhaps dystopia ), robots is what defines the future . Don’t believe me? Look at the number of Japanese animation series that deal with robots (especially the giant variety). And, frankly, if Japan isn’t the future, what is?

We’ve dubbed today’s Gadgetbox “Robot Special Edition.” We’ll take a look at robotic servants to do your every bidding, a giant robot to terrify house guests, and the world-destroying power of robots when melded with dinosaurs .

Home is where your robot is

While most of the companies doing work in robotics nowadays are designing them for military needs, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more peaceful uses for automatons. Take MobileRobots Inc., for example. The New Hampshire-based company has been designing robots for over twenty years, and they’ve yet to be completely overrun by amok androids. That, in the robotics industry, is described as “an unqualified success.”

MobileRobots has got a trio of friendly home bots for your personal use, charmingly dubbed Jeeves, BrewskiBot, and Agent 007. Jeeves and BrewskiBot are primarily designed for domestic tasks like serving drinks—BrewskiBot even has his own built in fridge, forged in the sub-zero heart of the Antarctic. Both will greet your guests with a polite “Welcome to our home” or a custom message of your choosing (I suggest “Time to die, hu- mans .”). Meanwhile, Agent 007 can patrol your house for intruders, reporting back via its built-in camera and notifying you if a door is ajar, or the fridge has been raided. If it discovers an interloper, it can greet them with a polite “Freeze! Police!” or other message (I suggest singing that old FAO Schwartz “Welcome to our world of toys.” It’s guaranteed to incapacitate even the most hardened criminal).

Of course, your own personal robotic servant doesn’t come cheap. Jeeves is the cheapest, at $30,995; BrewskiBot is a cool $31,995; and Agent 007 will run you $34,995. All of those prices include a one-year/1,000 mile warranty, but you’ll have to pay extra for the Santa cap. Order by November 8th and you can have your autonomous helper just in time to appear under the Christmas tree.

[via SCI Fi Tech ]

“Danger, [insert your name here], danger!”

Looking for a way to discourage visits from those pesky in-laws, or scare off your teenage daughter’s would-be boyfriend? Then look no farther. Sure, a shotgun might be a cheaper, more effective approach—but this is about style . And what’s more stylish than a six and a half foot tall walking, talking robot for striking fear into the hearts of unwanted visitors? Especially when it’s the B-9 Environmental Control Robot from Lost in Space . The original, mind you, not the disturbingly awful 1998 remake. Though, admittedly, renting Matt LeBlanc to discourage company might come cheaper than B-9’s $24,500 pricetag.

But, unlike Matt LeBlanc, B-9 is rendered in exquisite detail from fiberglass, aluminum, acrylic, and steel, and features realistic moving parts, right down to its claw arms (LeBlanc’s claw arms, of course, do not move). With its impressive 240 watt speaker system, B-9 can speak 511 phrases performed by Richard Tufeld, the original voice of the robot, who is imprisoned inside the robot, due to crimes committed against humanity. His punishment? Repeating “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” until the heat death of the universe .

All of B-9’s movements can be controlled with the included remote, giving you the ability to easily terrorize household pets or small children. And, should you wish to demonstrate to the tykes what happens when they don’t eat their vegetables, pulling out B-9’s powerpack will cause the robot to scream “Aaghhhhhh.” Oh, they’ll snap up their broccoli after that.

[hat tip: John Moltz ]

Next up, lot #3275: giant robotic dinosaur, circa 1990

If there is a robot whose name strikes fear into the hearts of men, it is Robosaurus . Standing 40 feet high and weighing in at 31 tons, this half-robot half- saurus has a habit of crushing cars in its steely grip and breathing flames that make quick work of marshmallows the world over.

But Robosaurus is getting on a bit; he’s turned 17, which in robosaurus years, means that he’s actually 75 (robosauri operate on metric years, you see). As a result, his creators are looking for a good home for their lovable monstrosity—something along the lines of a Daisy Hill Robosaurus Farm. Robosaurus will be auctioned off at the annual Barrett-Jackson automobile auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, which takes place next year between January 12th and January 20th.

The lucky winner will get the keys to Robosaurus, allowing them to climb into the mechanical cranium and choose whether to use the powers for the good of fighting crime…or the evil of making mayhem . After all, when you control the might of Robosaurus, who can stand against you?

[via BotJunkie ]

While my funds are not sufficiently liquid to invest in a robotic companion (they’re currently wrapped up in maniacal world-domination plots), that certainly shouldn’t stop you . Good luck; we’ll see you next week.

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