ATR and VStone debut 'life-sized' Robovie R3 humanoid robot

It's been less than a month since the iPod touch-based Robovie-mR2 rolled into our hearts, but the folks at ATR and Vstone have now already moved on to their next creation: the Robovie R3 humanoid robot. Designed primarily to aid in research involving the elderly or disabled, the R3 is apparently "life-sized," and packs 11 touch sensors throughout its body, along with a pair of USB cameras for eyes, two microphones and a speaker, an optional laser range finder, and a top speed of 2.5 kilometers per hour. It's also apparently reasonably adept at getting around, with it able to move omnidirectionally and overcome small changes in floor height, and able to lend a hand thanks to its "gripper hands." Of course, "research" is the operative word here, as this particular bot will only be made available to various institutions working with robots, and at the decidedly un-consumer-friendly price of ¥3,800,000 (or just over $41,000).