TOKYO (AFP) — For people looking for a dance partner that doesn't step on toes, toymakers Sega and Hasbro on Thursday unveiled a new two-wheeled dancing robot with stereo sound.
The remote control A.M.P Automated Music Personality, or Ampbot, can be hooked up to an MP3 player or iPod on its back.
The 73-centimetre (2.4 feet) tall black robot can bob its head and dance while LED lights on its head flash red.
It has stereo speakers and turntable-shaped hands that can be used for volume control, sound effects and DJ-style scratching.
"The Ampbot is for men who like robots and who as children dreamed of living one day with robots," Osamu Takeuchi of Sega Toys, part of the Sega Sammy Group, said at the launch at the Tokyo Toy Show.
The Ampbot follows ZMP's "Miuro" or Sony Corp's "Rolly," both small oval-shaped music players that roll around on the floor and move under command.
But the Ampbot "has a real presence in the home by allowing interaction with the owner. The owner can also enjoy being chased around the house by the robot," said Takeuchi.
Sega and Hasbro expect to begin selling the Ampbot in Japan and the US from November, with a global launch planned within 18 months.
"The market for robots like this in the US is growing," said Steven Gasman, a Hasbro assistant brand manager.
A Sega official said the price in Japan would be around 80,000 yen (745 dollars).
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