SEGA & Hasbro were supposed to be getting into the robotic music player business with AMP (Automated Music Personality), an anthropomorphic robot on wheels that used the inverted-pendulum technology of the Segway to balance itself. Having never made it to market, those plans have gone the way of the Dodo. Standing 73cm (2’4″) tall, AMP had 2 obstacle-detection sensors, 14 touch sensors, 49 LED lights, and 62 sound effects.
AMP’s hands, which resembled turn-styles, could be used for volume control or DJ-style scratching. AMP was compatible with portable mp3 players, which plugged into its back. It would run for 10 hours on 6 D batteries and 3 AAAs (which seems kind of insane). The price of the ‘bot was supposed to be between $500-$750.
There were 5 different operating modes:
- Dance Mode (moves to the music via internal beat detection)
- Drive Mode (remote controlled movement)
- Track Mode (positions its speakers in your direction)
- Follow Mode (follows whoever holds the remote)
- Park Mode (stops & deploys kickstand)
Despite the fact that AMP looks more like a typical robot than the Miuro or Rolly, I can’t say I’m a fan of its design; the red LED eyes and the yellow/black body look too ’80s for my tastes. And upon closer inspection the plastic looks really cheap. That said, I suppose if your living room is already bursting at the seams with Rock Band accessories, AMP would feel right at home.
Personally, I’m not convinced that all robotic appliances need to look humanoid. Apparently SEGA and Hasbro agree with me, because AMP’s official website is 404’d – relegating AMP to the dustbins of ancient history (and robotics websites).
Impress Robot Watch