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Hasbro's experimental Nexus-powered robot toy hands-on at Google I/O (video)

Hasbro's experimental Nexus-powered robot toy hands-on at Google I/O (video)
Myriam Joire
Myriam Joire|@tnkgrl|May 11, 2011 5:45 AM
Are you ready to welcome our experimental toy robot overlords? They're adorable, and they're taking no prisoners here at Google I/O. Hasbro and Google are collaborating to bring these little critters to life by docking a Nexus S brain to an exoskeleton-like body containing a battery, a Bluetooth radio and a bunch servomotors (the kind you find in RC models). The battery powers the dock and provides additional juice to the phone which in turn controls the servos via Bluetooth. Where things get interesting is that these toy robots don't just act based on a set of rules programmed into the Nexus S, but actually react to their environment (using the handset's sensors, front-facing camera, and touchscreen) and communicate with Google's cloud services over WiFi (for facial and object recognition) in order to enhance their behavior. Shake them and they get dizzy, rub their display and they get happy / angry, show them a Decepticon card and they cower away. They will also take a picture of you, decide if you are friend or foe, and respond accordingly. Predictably, Hasbro is sticking with gender stereotypes by providing basic male and female "personalities," complete with accessorized docks. Check out these experimental creatures in our gallery and hit the break for our hands-on video. Just don't go in expecting a price and release -- it's prototype cuteness only for now.