ZMP of Japan began selling a two-legged walking robot Thursday that runs on Microsoft's new robotics software — a product the companies said will make it easier to transfer technology from one robot to another.
U.S. software maker Microsoft Corp. is a relative latecomer to robotics. Microsoft Robotics Studio, a package of software especially made to program movements and other applications for robots, went on sale in December 2006, and ZMP's device is the first biped to run on it.
On Thursday, a demonstrator using a Microsoft Xbox 360 remote got the 14-inch-tall, 5.5-pound, $5,345 "e-nuvo WALK" to take a few steps and kick a small plastic ball.
Expected to ship in January, the robot, which has six motors in each leg and a boxlike torso but no head, is available online and only in Japan, though it will function overseas.