Getting the bugs out of personal robots
Innovation First's toy bugs pack a mighty computing wallop of light sensors and infrared motion-control equipment.
(Fortune Small Business) -- Sales of personal robots for entertainment are expected to reach $3.6 billion a year worldwide by 2012, up from $250 million in 2007, and Innovation First, based in Greenville, Texas, is staking out its share of that market.
The company, which employs 75 and expects 2008 revenues north of $30 million, is betting on a line of educational robot kits and inexpensive toys.
The Hexbug Micro Robotic Creature Crab, $12.99, and Inchworm, $14.99, both due in August, represent improvements on earlier versions called Echo and Delta. The new crab features a light sensor that makes it prefer dark spaces. It will scuttle across a desk until finding a shady spot to rest.
These may be toys, but the technology they pack is not kids' stuff. The Hexbugs harness a new crop of cheap light sensors and infrared motion-control equipment.