We admit we're suckers for cute robots around here, especially ones that are connected to the Internet in some way (remember the Nabaztag?). We were especially excited, then, to find that Arimaz's mydeskfriend is not only a robot that can communicate with your Facebook account but it comes in the form of a tiny robot penguin sporting a charming little hat.
Meant as a 'social-media companion', the penguin can be integrated into your Facebook profile. You can then 'feed' or 'exercise' the penguin via a Facebook gameplay interface to keep it in a happy mood (it has five different moods, each of which is indicated by the colour of the penguin's eyes). You can also let your Facebook friends play with it via the gameplay interface. You can set the penguin so that it will read your Facebook messages to you, alert you when your friends have logged on, poke your friends, and more.
Aside from the Facebook integration, it's similar to the Nabaztag in that it can also read out information from RSS feeds, email, stock quotes, weather forecasts, Twitter posts, instant messages, calendar appointment alerts, and more.
The mydeskfriend can move around as well. It has infrared sensors that keep it from falling off a desk, and it reacts to physical stimuli like petting and shaking, which will also affect its mood. Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
It'll also memorise around 15 voice commands. Arimaz says mydeskfriend includes autonomous lifecycle software that lets it develop its own 'personality' over time, depending on how you treat it.
It's expected to become available in September in the US for around $100 (£60). It's likely that it will make it to the UK too, as Arimaz is a Swiss company.