As if mass popularity isn’t enough, the iPod is set to go places, literally. Miuro, a Japanese robot is designed to turn an iPod into a scuttling boombox-on-wheels. The 14-inch long robot, resembling a ball popping out of an egg, will roll and twist from room to room, blaring music.
Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod portable player locks into the top of the robot, which comes in white, black, yellow or red. "This is a robot version of music-on-the-move that's so popular," said Miuro designer Shinichi Hara, who also designs album jackets for Japanese pop stars.
"I designed it to have a gentle look because it becomes a part of everyday life by integrating robotics and music," Hara said. The robot went on sale on Thursday in Japan by Internet order, and overseas sales are planned for the latter half of next year.
The iPod already connects to speaker systems in homes and cars, as well as to earphones. But Hisashi Taniguchi, president of ZMP Inc., the company behind the project, said robotics technology adds another convenience to mobile music.
"The robot helps you listen to music wherever you are without even thinking about it," he said. Separately sold options add a camera and sensors to the robot, so it can map out its own position and remember routes, Taniguchi said.