These must be the cutest robots since the thumb-sized Robo-Qs: Takara Tomy (Tomy in the US) today announced the Micropet-i series [JP, PDF], which consists of nine different (very small and adorable) robotic animals. This is the same company responsible for said Robo-Qs.
Takara Tomy released similar robots, Micropets without the “i”, worldwide as early as 2002, but the new versions are said to be better. The new robo-animals can move around autonomously and are equipped with sensors that help them in detecting obstacles. They weigh 32.5g each and are sized at 58×48×45mm.
Each Micropet has four modes: Chase (the robot chases other moving objects), Stroll (it runs around avoiding obstacles), Song (it “sings” one of two pre-installed songs) and Chorus (several Micropets sing together as a group).
Japan will get the Micropet-i on July 4 (price: $18). Ask the Japan Trend Shop, Geek Stuff 4 U or Rinkya to get one for you, too, in case you don’t want to wait for Takara Tomy to sell them outside Japan.