Home Security Bots

Robots keep an eye on things while you're away

Ever suspect that someone is poking into your stuff when you're not at home? Or that instead of taking care of the kids the babysitter is doing you-know-what? Or that Spot only pretends she can't stand on her hind legs and talk when you're around? Then you might want invest in one of the new spybots on the market. (That, or get your head checked.)

For the casual paranoiac, the Spy Snooper Robot Vehicle will do -- it's a small remote-controlled vehicle mounted with a microphone and a transmitter that will pipe those juicy secrets through walls and around corners up to 90 feet. Glaring white and tank-like, it may not be subtle, but it will get the job done.

For someone who really needs to be in the know, Rovio is the way to go: it's a webcam-on-wheels that roves around your place and sends you video in real time via Wi-Fi. Equipped with the same GPS-like NorthStar navigation system that comes with many new cars these days, your electronic sentry can thread its way through specific patrols you've programmed it to do. This includes designating various "way points" (cash box, secret journal hiding place, kitty litter box) that it will automatically return to with one click of the mouse.

Or if you get a sudden hunch that something fishy is up, just hop on the Internet and control Rovio remotely. Nighttime is no problem for Rovio either, as the built-in LEDs will shine light into all the dark corners.

Rovio then uses your home's Internet connection to connect to your cellphone, computer or even your video game controller, and send streaming video and audio of the theft of your family jewels or the latest puppy accident. Or better yet, videos of nothing at all.