Zhu Zhu hamsters (L to R) Chunk, Num
Nums, PipSqueak, and Mr. Squiggles.
Meet the disgustingly cute Zhu Zhu pet hamster robot, of which there are four varieties: Patches (loves flowers),
Chunk (laid back surfer), PipSqueak (petite powerhouse), and Mr. Squiggles (loves to explore).According to vendor
Cepia, LLC ( www.cepiallc.com),"The best alternatives to real live hamsters, Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters don`t poop, die,
or stink, but they are still a riot of motion and sound." In addition to running around the house like the real thing, they
make 40+ different sounds and, via AI, can vary their sounds to suit whatever room they are in. For example, they
make toilet-flushing or tooth-brushing sounds in the bathroom and alarm clock sounds in the bedroom.A dozen
accessories are available, including an adventure ball, a funhouse, a hamster mobile with garage, and a surfboard/sleeping
hut combo. The little rodents will run you $8 each separately. Oddly enough, in two- or four-packs, they still cost $8
each. They were tough to locate last Christmas, being out of stock in many retail and online stores. But they are likely
to have multiplied since then and reappeared on shelves. (Now where'd I put that rubber mallet?)
A presentation made by Toyota executives entitled
“Realization of Moon Exploration Using Advanced
Robots by 2020” discusses sending slick looking
humanoid robots to the moon to build rock gardens.
Toyota has some fairly specific ideas on hardware and
• Joints are protected from regolith.
• Small capacity solar battery onboard.
• Internal status shows on screen on chest.
• Arms exchangeable for different tasks.
• Able to jump with springs in legs.
• Keeps warm during night covered in metal cloak.
There isn’t a lot of detail available, but I’d say it’s certainly possible to have bots like this in 2020 based on the current
capabilities of Toyota’s partner robots.
22 SERVO 01.2010