Eco-Be! Mini Robot From Citizen

Citizen, a company better known for wristwatches than robots, has created a tiny two-wheeled robot. The Eco-Be! is just 1.8 cm wide and 2.5 cm tall; it is operated by infrared remote control.


(From Eco-Be robot face-off)

These mini robots are able to move forward and backward, and can turn to either side. The low-cost Eco-Be is powered by watch batteries; it is constructed with Citizen watch technology. Citizen is promoting the Eco-be! as the basis for an affordable robot platform for education and other uses.


(Eco-Be robot early prototype)

These tiny robots are exactly what Eric Frank Russell (writing as Maurice A. Hugi) was talking about in his amazing and prescient 1941 short story Mechanical Mice. In the story, a machine made from a complicated blueprint from the future begins sending out tiny machines to find parts and materials:

... there came a very tiny, very subtle and extremely high-pitched whine. Something small, metallic, glittering had shot through one of the rat holes, fled across the floor toward the churning monstrosity. A trapdoor opened and swallowed it with such swiftness that it had disappeared before I realized what I'd seen. The thing had been a cylindrical, polished object resembling the shuttle of a sewing machine, but about four times the size.
(Read more about the golden shuttle robots)

These tiny, remote-controlled robots are made from stolen watch parts, just like the Eco-Be! robot.

Mechanical mouse enthusiasts might also be interested in these stories: AMouse: Bradbury's Robot Mice Get Real Whiskers and Micromouse Robot Builders Seek The Brass Cheese. Read more about the Eco-Be!.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/7/2006)

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