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Rolling Robot Takes The Tunes With You, Thanks To The Ipod

— September 2, 2006 — Tech
The new Japanese robot Miuro turns an iPod music player into a dancing boombox-on-wheels.

The 14-inch-long machine from ZMP Inc. blares music as it rolls and twists from room to room. The robot, which looks like a ball popping out of an egg, has a speaker system from Kenwood Corp.

Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod player locks into the top of the robot, which comes in white, black, yellow or red.

The $930 Miuro -- short for "music innovation based on utility robot technology" -- responds to a handheld remote control. It receives wireless signals from a PC to play music from iTunes and other programs.

At a demonstration in Tokyo, the 11-pound Miuro did a preprogrammed vacuum-cleaner-like dance, rolling about and pivoting to music.

"This is a robot version of music-on-the-move that's so popular," said Miuro designer Shinichi Hara, who also creates album jackets for Japanese pop stars.

"I designed it to have a gentle look because it becomes a part of everyday life by integrating robotics and music," Hara said.
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