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Robo Spy – cuddlier than a Web cam

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A Jetsons-style world has moved a little closer with the Spy Cye, a friendlier kind of robot.

The 16in x 10in x 5in robot can monitor a house while the occupant is away. It can send and receive controlled remotely and send images back to its owner.

Made by US firm Probotics, Spy Cye communicates with the computer by radio, and the receiver connects to the PC through the USB port.

Spy Cye's software enables its owner to make a map of the area to be monitored. It stores information in grids so that the robot can avoid furniture, for example.

The owner uses this map to tell the robot where to go. Spy Cye can move at three feet per second and sends pictures with a resolution of up to 320 x 540 dots per inch.

Users can check up on their house by logging into their passworded account at www.web-bots.com. The
robot's software can be scheduled to go online, if a home connection is not always on.

The robot's inventor, Henry Thorne, says his robot is much friendlier than a Webcam. He told the New York Times: "If you want big brother, you're better off with a Web cam. This is an enjoyable link between you and another person as opposed to an open eye with no movement or presence on the other end."

So if you have a thousand bucks burning a hole in your pocket and want the best baby monitoring gadget ever, the Spy Cye is available from personalrobots.com for $995. ®

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