'Kill the Intruder!' 'Destroy the Humanoid!'

Japanese House-Sitter Robot Hits Stores

from The Associated Press

TOKYO - Worried about leaving your house empty while you go on vacation? Japan has the answer: a house-sitter robot armed with a digital camera, infrared sensors and a videophone.

Stores across Japan started taking orders on Thursday for the Roborior — a watermelon-sized eyeball on wheels that glows purple, blue and orange — continuing the country's love affair with gadgets.

Roborior can function as interior decor, but also as a virtual guard dog that can sense break-ins using infrared sensors, notify homeowners by calling their cellular phones, and send the owner's cell phone videos from its digital camera.

It debuted in department stores this week, but supplies are limited. The robot is on display in a half-dozen shops, though many more are taking orders.

Such technology doesn't come cheaply. Takashimaya will sell the machines, developed by Japanese robot maker Tmsuk Co. Ltd. and electronics company Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., for $2,600 each.

Tmsuk has already produced a four-legged security robot called Banryu, which is about the size of a large dog and sells for $18,000.

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