Schneier on Security
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September 26, 2008
Your Own Personal Robot Voyeur
Spykee is your own personal robot spy. It takes pictures and movies that you can watch on the Internet in real time or save for later. You can even talk with whoever you're spying on via Skype. More here, and you can buy one here: only $300.
Posted on September 26, 2008 at 7:39 AM
• 23 Comments
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Skype compatible? What's next? 'Johnny 5'?
and you can listen to MP3s
Will we need new signs or will lawyers be all over owners of this? "Camera surveillance" doesn't seem to cover a drone with a camera, and I haven't seen a "beware of robot" sign yet.
It's the ultimate mobile phone. Send it in to tell your kids good night or send it in to the office to let you join a meeting when you're out of town. But will they know for sure if it's really you on the other end?
Why is this "spying on" people? It seems like little more than a CCTV camera hooked up to Skype to me.
Like the original Daleks, Spykee doesn't appear to be able to manage stairs.
what is this slashdot? i guess it is friday morning
bear said: "Christmas is coming" ... This made me smile ...
Went to the link ... this is cool geek chic ... can't let my 14 year-old grandson see this ... he will be sucking up big time ... might even offer to mow the yard for a year ... (g)
A modern take on the poem,
Christmas is coming,
The Skypee's battery's flat,
So no way to watch the burgler,
Stealing all your tat...
I guess home security for flat owners would be a real use for this little droid.
I liked the disclaimer on the video:
"Movie non binding. Arms and head of the robot are not motorized. Situation simulation with various special effects..."
It looks like a fun toy.
However you need to use an ad-hoc wi-fi setup to connect to it the first time. It also does not support WPA2 just WEP and WPA.
The documentation recommends several times that you might need to disable security completely on your wi-fi network, or disable the host based firewall of the connecting computer completely.
I think I'll pass.
I wonder if it will end up like the Lego Mindstorms (I have to educate my son ;) being hacked into a new more interesting system.
Just think as it has vision and two way voice comms it might be possible to give it face recognition and a faux personality etc.
Instead of comming home to a cat or dog that needs feeding cleaning and possibly wallking you could come home to the "Spykee virtual flat mate".
You could also conect two together over the Internet. For those who suffer from seperation angsiaty. You have one in your hotel room and one at your significant others flat. You can then walk and talk together.
You could do the same thing when your "little one" does a sleep over.
But from my point of view it's to small to get me a beer from the fridge...
I always thought of these devices were best suited for playing with pets and feeding them when the owner is away from home.
The ability to preprogram an activity (like opening a can, or scooping a litter box) for a certain time so manual control is not necessary would be a bonus.
Makes me also wonder whether the Meccano company can spy on you through this gadget...
Anyway Nao from Aldebaran Robotics is going to be a lot cooler (but is not publicly available yet)...
One could buy one of those, a pistol and a few servos and have a hell of a time.
It won't be long until someone will try to rob a bank remotely using some of these gadgets :)
You also have to provide the company your robot's name and password in order to control him over the Internet.
Shouldn't you have added a disclosure on the 'buy one here' link regarding your associate tag in the link ;-) ?
Not to mention what I got on going to the Spykee site: three visible URLs, along with icons showing that NoScript was blocking scripts. If I can't get a look at a page without allowing scripts, I'm not interested.
Hmm, there are rumours of an open interface expansion kit.
Must ... not ... add ... taser ...
Must ... not ...
<Austrian accent>Spykee defensive systems activated.</Austrian accent>
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 21st century. Enjoy the ride.
iRobot has a version of this ("ConnectR") based on the Roomba platform that is touted as being able to connect in real time as a virtual visitor. Due out "real soon now".
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