For roughly $620, robot-enthusiasts who own Android smartphones can build their own robots which can be programmed to do about almost anything. The first programmable function to be released by Dongbu Robot (formerly Dasarobot) and SK Telecom is speech recognition software (possibly much like Siri's own software?). New features are programmed and sent through the phone's Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals.
Does this mean the impending Robot Uprising? Probably not in another few years, hopefully.
Reported by Engadget, the kitÂ—called HOVISÂ—essentially make the robot's "brain" the Android phone. There are accessory upgrades for the robot, including fully functioning legs instead of the pre-installed wheels. Apps, besides the speech recognition function, will also include education, home, and entertainment related apps.
Hobby shops in South Korea will be tapped to sell the robots, Dongbu Robot also sells the popular Korean "robot pet" Genibo. According to Plastic Pals, the company wishes to have multiple uses for the HOVIS kit. One of the major uses being educational companions for kids, who can interact with the robot through the phone's touchscreen.
Android phones 3.5 inches in size can easily fit into the robot, and the HOVIS line consists of multiple kits, all ranging in priceÂ—the previously reported $620 being the cheapest of the entire line with a limited range of programming.
Dongbu Robot hasn't yet reported if the robots will be available outside of South Korea, though; Plastic Pals says the mobile Androids could see an international release in 2012. More information and updates can be found at Dongbu Robot's Facebook Page.