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Atom comes to android

Japanese robot powered by Intel chip

Robovie_SM

In Blighty, Intel’s Atom is usually confined to netbooks and MIDs. But in Japan, Atom has been used to provide processing power for a highly flexible robot.

Robovie_01

Robovie is powered by a 1.6GHz Atom

Google’s translation of Japanese manufacturer Vstone’s website is a little scruffy, but states that Robovie-PC - a two-legged android – has a 1.6GHz Z530 Atom ‘heart’ mounted on a 100 x 72mm motherboard.

Robovie measures 225 x 115 x 390mm and its frame is littered with polyurethane pads. Why? To protect the droid in case of falls while cycling through its list of 20 user-definable axes of movements.

For example, Robovie can perform numerous leg, arm and head movements. The robot’s hands don’t move, but for a little extra cash Vstone will ship it with a set of hands able to grip small objects.

A 1.3Mp webcam hidden inside Robovie’s head allows you to see a robot’s eye view of the world. There’s no mention of on-board storage, so it looks like saving images and videos taken using Robovie’s ‘eye’ is out of the question.

Robovie_03

Robovie has 20 different movements and a webcam 'eye'

Robovie is equipped with several USB ports, however, so you’ll at least be able to see what it sees in real-time.

Shipped pre-assembled and with a wireless controller, Robovie is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Linux. Plans are also underway for Windows 7 support, Vstone said.

Batteries are included with Robovie, Vstone added, which runs on a single internal battery pack.

Robovie is currently only available in Japan, where it will set you back a cool ¥399,000 (£2794/$4476/€3039). ®

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