updated 08:25 am EDT, Fri June 20, 2008
Hasbro this morning unveiled the A.M.P, or Automated Music Personality. The wheeled but otherwise humanoid robot borrows the same philosophy as the Sony Rolly and at once simplifies and expands on it. Rather than integrate its own MP3 player, the Hasbro device lets users plug in an iPod or any minijack-equipped player into a case on the back; in its simplest mode, the robot automatically detects beats and dances in sync with 49 pulsing lights.
While not programmable like its Sony counterpart, the A.M.P. has two touchpads on its arms that let users add sound effects or change volume, and adds two built-in obstacle sensors to prevent itself from hitting walls or other obstacles while on the move.
The device also includes a pair of unique extra modes, including a tracking mode that automatically points the A.M.P. towards its remote and a full manual mode. Users can simply keep the device still to treat it as a common speaker system. Audio quality itself is also better, according to Hasbro: the system is more powerful at 12 watts and includes two tweeters as well as a mid-range driver that helps separate bass from higher frequencies.
The company's device unusually depends on disposable batteries and needs six D-cells as well as three AAA batteries, the combination of which gives the robot about ten hours of continuous use. Hasbro estimates that it will ship the A.M.P. in October and sets the price at $500.