Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions” — Turtle Bots — this year’s Tamagotchi in Japan

In my report Thursday, Time Magazine names Toyota’s i-unitâ„¢ ‘coolest’, I forgot to mention another of the “Best Inventions 2005″ from Japan: the mega-cool TurtleBot / Kame robo (タカラ カメロボ).

Best Inventions 2005: Bot Crazy Turtle Dance
It’s small, it’s cute and it sashays across your desk, tail wriggling. To program Walkie Bits(tm), simply tap its shell with your finger. It can remember and mimic a rhythmic pattern of up to 15 clicks…the most fun you can have with these tiny turtle robots is to race them against each other. In basic walk mode, the Walkie Bits’ pace is unpredictable….Three can fit in the palm of your hand.
Walkie Bits(tm)

According to everyone in the store here the Walkie Bits(tm) by Takara Company is a toy mega-hit Even the Japanese TV news shows are calling it this year’s Tamagotchi….especially since Time Magazine named it one of the “Best Inventions 2005.” The last time this happened was when the Bowlingual(tm) dog translator was named one of the best inventions of 2002 by Time.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Watch how cool the Walkie Bits(tm) are in the video on Takara website. Watch them “rhythm” and “sing” (3.2 MB Windows Media video). And you can also see them race and sing (1.7 MB Windows Media video).

I find it interesting that Takara Co. is pitching this robot toy to 20-something Japanese women rather than the six year old set it was designed for as shown in the Takara website photo below. For it to be fun you need several—each costing 1,344 yen ($11.20 USD) and Takara is offering many additional options such as “Dress up” turtle clothing, “Lifestyle” living and household tips, and even TAKARAppy(tm): TAKARA + therapy = TAKARAppy(tm).
TAKARA + therapy girlTAKARA Co., Ltd. タカラ KK,「Walkiebits」(ウォーキービッツ)

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

One thought on “Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions” — Turtle Bots — this year’s Tamagotchi in Japan”

  1. hi
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