UrRobot's Robii hides a multitouch projector in his circus tent (video)

This cute, bearmonkey-like creature with animatronic head and arms perched atop a rotating, but otherwise fixed torso is called Robii. He's built by Compal Communications, the ODM more often associated with handsets, and will be sold under the new UrRobot brand in Taiwan. The 16,900 NTD (about $582) toy robot features an interactive projector tucked away inside of Robii's circus tent. When extended, it projects interactive video for gaming and infotainment -- very similar to the projected multitouch display we saw demonstrated by Light Blue Optics at CES 2010. Robii can track moving objects using its built-in cameras and comes equipped with an ambient light sensor, and voice and image recognition. It's also capable of barking commands at children with the appropriate visage (from a catalog of 100 facial expressions) to ensure dutiful compliance. Quick demo after the break.

Update: We've been informed that the VGA pico projector is of Himax Technologies origin. Full details after the break.

Show full PR text

Compal Launches the First Interactive Robot with Integrated Himax Pico-Projector Solution

TAINAN, Taiwan, Jan. 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Himax Technologies, Inc.'s ("Himax" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:HIMX - News) customer, Compal Communication Inc. (TAIEX:3035; subsidiary of Kinpo Group), today launched the first pico-projector-embedded robot, Robii, aimed at the children's interactive education market. The Robii utilizes Himax Display's (Himax's subsidiary) proprietary Color Filter LCOS microdisplay with VGA resolution. The Robii's unique feature would be the Himax pico projector which allows children to project various interactive games onto any surface for both educational and entertainment activities.

HC Tsai, Vice President of Himax Display, commented, "This industry-leading robot uses Himax's proprietary Color Filter microdisplay which we feel is a perfect fit for the toy market. We are very excited by the application of our pico-projector technology into the Robii. Up until now the educational toys with interactive features have largely required either a separate television/monitor display or featured small screens on a hand held device. The Robii incorporates projection to eliminate these obstacles and allows for a fun, dynamic and interactive experience right out of the box."

Mr. Tsai continued, "This newly-launched product demonstrates another successful and innovative application of our LCOS pico-projectors. Himax's Color Filter technology enables a simple optical engine design with just one WLED as the light source. The streamlined architecture and abundant supply base of WLED facilitate the assembly process and mass production of the Color Filter optical engines at an economical price point. There are numerous toy makers developing various new products which incorporate pico-projectors to grasp new market potential. The projection function allows our customers to bring new levels of creativity to toy design. Moving forward we can expect even more children's educational products adopting pico-projectors in their design."

Himax Display also features a complete Color Filter microdisplays product lineup. Among them, the QVGA (320X240), VGA (640X480) and SVGA (800X600) microdisplays are already in mass production. With further development in technology and innovation in products, the children's education market is expected to be another growing area for LCOS pico-projectors in the future.