08 October 2013

What is the world coming to? (part 358)

Not sure that I'd feel comfortable with one of these in the house.  Bloomberg reports:
Lego fans no longer need to fret about the cat or dog knocking over their constructions. When bothersome housepets or other pests come too close, they can ward off the intruder with one of their plastic-brick creations.
The R3PTAR, a robotic snake from Lego A/S, can be programmed from a smartphone app to attack felines, canines, and siblings -- or simply scuttle along the floor and give them something to chase. Equipped with a snapping mechanical jaw and fangs, the serpent might just send even courageous hounds, pusses and pesky kid brothers packing.
The R3PTAR is part of a 601-piece set introduced last month that includes a programmable brick, sensors, software and motors. Known as EV3, the $350 set is the third incarnation of the Mindstorms series, introduced in 1998. It includes plans for five walking, talking and thinking robots including the snake, the scorpion-like SPIK3R and the Mohawk-sporting EV3RSTORM.
“These robots have attitude,” said product designer Lars Joe Hyldig, who spent about three years developing them. “They can surprise you” by taking on a mind of their own.

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