Upstart toymaker Robonica has been making promises about its Robini-i programmable robot for a little while now, but it looks like it's now not only managed to get the bot out the door, but land it on the cover of the new Hammacher Schlemmer holiday catalog as well. Headed up by a former Hasbro exec, the company is clearly taking aim at the likes of WowWee, but hopes to one-up them by also letting its robot with a "serious attitude" become an avatar in an MMO of sorts when it's not tormenting your pets. What's more, the Robini-i can also apparently interact with other bots both online and in person, and the more adventuresome folks out there can also take advantage of some basic programming capabilities provided by the included software (Windows only, for the time being). Slightly less entry-level, however, is the $299.95 that Hammacher Schlemmer is charging for the kit, although it appears that could drop to $250 as it rolls out to other retailers.

Read - Hammacher Schlemmer
Read - Xconomy, "Robonica President, an Ex-Hasbro Exec, Hopes to Put Boston Back on Toy Industry Map with Rolling Robots"

[Via IEEE Spectrum, thanks Ken R.]

Latest DirecTV sale rumors point to Verizon