Romo 3.0 Next Generation iPhone Robot Announced [Video]

Romotive is back with a brand new bot and now it’s stronger, faster, smarter and cuter.

The first version, unveiled in October 2011 was a little robot with a cute little face that can only roamed around the table, turning your idevice into a rat-sized telepresence rig.

The Romo producers, Romotive, the “smartphone robot company” that is part of Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh’s downtown Las Vegas revitalization project, assembled each Romo 1.0 by hand and shipped them out last winter, Tech Crunch reports.

Now the robot’s folk is back with a new version Romo 2.0, a streamlined, redesigned model that looks more like a toy than a tool.

The company announced that they have just released its third-generation robot with yet another KickStarter campaign, writes Venture Beat.

All the products of Apple Inc. — or a modern web browser can serve as the controller of the small robot. It features two-way audio and video, thus, it can be used as an inexpensive telepresence unit as well — it retails for $150, and Kickstarter backers can reserve one by backing the project.

The smartphone acts as Romo’s brain, making the bot to dance to music, shoot video, greet your Facebook friends with a smile and run away from strangers, among other things, The Wall Street Journal claims.

Romo connects to a smartphone and can be controlled via another smartphone or tablet. An iDevice’s user can move the robot around the room remotely or make a cute little blue face light up and smile when it sees people.

Little Romo can be used for spying, as Kickstarter campaign jokingly suggested, or telepresence, or even for mix-reality racing games. A small piece of advice: don’t put your latest phone in Romo when you’re racing him.

The team behind Romo 3.0 explain: “This next-gen Romo is *almost* everything a personal robot should be. He’s cute, responsive, and really fast, but he’s still not capable of doing all that stuff you see in the movies.”

”We’ve created great basic apps for Romo, and he’s super fun to play with. But we have a bigger vision. We want to create really advanced software that lets Romo do the things robots do in the movies.”

Which is more, according to the company, they intend to make the device an API available so that hackers can create their own cool uses of the little robot.

As his creators said about the original robot, “Since Romo is a “true” robot, he’s infinitely programmable, and can be made to do just about anything.”

“Romo’s pretty amazing,” Hsieh says in the video. “It smiles at you, he’s happy to see you … it seems like it has a personality of its own.”

The new version of cute robot is bigger, stronger, and faster, and if the Kickstarter campaign succeeds to gather $100,000, it will add to Romo remote 2-way telepresence, computer vision, autonomous navigation, and facial recognition. So far, Romotive has reached over a third of its goal, with 29 days left.

The third-generation robot goes on sale at the price tag of $150 if pledged now and its producers are seeking for $100,000 to build and ship these wee fellows.

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