We got my son a mini Robosapien for xmas. He's already had the little Fisher Price one, but the Robo is more like a buddy, in that he's like a large figure... All it does is walk (love how they walk), and you can pose the arms, open the claws (it can hold action figures), and light up the eyes. Very cool, and hopefully our first foray into the robot takeover ;)
I still want to get the v1 and v2 models, fully knowing 2007 will see a slate of even cooler 'bots. Something very endearing about the first couple of runs of a hit.
I'm looking into BEAM, the underlying tech behind these "toys," and wondering if it couldn't be applied to home systems in genera (we're building one next year)l. Makes sense, as bugs have regulatory apparatus (some of BEAM is based on this). It wouldn't be a huge leap to apply a basic temperature regulatory system to control the specific temperatures in the home. The real trick is providing the system with enough information. I think a simple thermal imager, programming that calculates ambeint temp based on more data, and specific controls for individual rooms would do a lot for energy efficiency. Of course, I want to build in thermals to detect large, moving warm spots, like people! Then, instead of having to clip a Bluetooth gizmo to your shirt, it'll just know you've entered a room. Obviously we'll have the BT setup too ;)
one man's journey into creating gibblybits