Back inside the house, a gadget like WowWee's $299 Rovio can help you keep tabs on things or just stay connected while you're away. It can be programmed to recognize "waypoints" that you establish so that it can tool around on its own, but like a lot of today's robots, the Wi-Fi- and Webcam-equipped Rovio is meant to be remote-controlled; you steer it around the house from your office PC or your laptop while on the road.
In addition, the robotics industry has identified elder care as a field ripe for smart gadgetry. Gear like the Rovio that provides "telepresence" could help people check in on their aging relatives and help older folks stave off isolation.
May 27, 2009 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: WowWee
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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