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Farting robot wins toy of the year

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A toy robot designed by a former NASA engineer has been named Britain's toy of the year by Hamley's, the nation's finest/most expensive toy shop.

The Robosapien claims to be the first robot based on "biomorphic robotics". It is also almost definitely the first robot capable of both farting and belching. If these forms of communication fail him the robot can also manage "fluent international 'caveman' speech". We're not entirely sure what that means either - answers on a postcard, please.

When not grunting or guffing the remote-controlled robot can walk around and pick up small objects. He can also dance, kick and do kung-fu. The robot can also be programmed to react to noises or sounds. In total he uses seven different motors to help him make 67 different moves.

Toy distributor Jerry Healey ominously warned The Guardian: "When it was launched, children above eight years old were attracted to it, but then young men around 23 or 25 were buying it, and it's generated it's own life since then. It's one of those gadgets where you come home from having a few drinks and think, 'Let's play with the Robosapien."

The Robosapien has also won prizes from Creative Child magazine, iParenting and those arbiters of good taste and safety the Canadian Toy Testing Council. ®

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