by Nicholas Blye
Looking into a street side Manhattan window rented by a Chinese toy company — Silverlit Electronics — you'd see the first version of a robot that's since developed a loyal following of amateur robotics fans, professional developers, and anyone else who thinks it's the 21st century — and everyone should have an affordable robot.
Measuring about a foot long with 16 articulated joints, Silverlit promised it would walk around, perform tricks on command, and also happen to sell for $1,350.00 less then the nearest competitor. i-Cybie's retail was just $150.00.
Right then, right there, a US Toy Company — Tiger Electronics — negotiated for a development and distribution license, stuck Tiger's logo on the display window, and moved several robots to their own exhibit space.
Like most prototypes, i-Cybie wasn't exactly fully functional. According to Silverlit, it could walk and perform tricks, but this would be after it was actually developed from a prototype into a real consumer robot. Well, real robots don't grow on trees — unless you count the ones picking oranges in Orlando.