We might not have robot servants like the sci-fi films predicted – not yet, anyway – but 'bots are being put to all kinds of uses. This one fits in the palm of your hand, and looks great fun to play with.
He's called Ringo, and he comes equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, LED lights, his own sounds and communication sensors. This means he can drive around and react to your prods and nudges.
There are 10 behaviours pre-loaded, so you can start playing straight out of the box. Shine a torch in the dark, and he'll chase the beam like a cat on a laser pointer. Draw a line on the floor, and he can follow its path. Nudge him, and the accelerometer tells him which direction you prodded from, then he turns and attacks your finger (in a friendly way, obviously). Put him in scared mode, and he'll run the opposite way when prodded. The gyroscope can keep him pointing in the same direction, so no matter which way you turn him, he'll return to his original position.
These are just a selection. You activate and switch between them using the remote control. You can also customise them yourself, providing you know a bit about coding.
He runs Arduino, an open-source platform, so anyone can get tinkering. It looks like a great way to get kids into coding, so let's hope it succeeds. At time of writing, it's almost halfway to its $12,000 funding goal, with 22 days to go.