How 'Bout Them Bots?

In the toy biz this year, nothing's as hot as a good robot

They've trolled antarctica for meteorites. They've scoured the Titanic for sunken treasure. They've built cars and computers and helped perform open-heart surgery. Now robots are homing in on the final frontier: your living room. Long the stuff of Star Wars fantasies and little-boy dreams, robots for real folks are here at last.

At the annual Toy Fair in New York City last week, the bots were everywhere. Foot-long bug bots crept across exhibit floors. Two-legged baby bots took their first toddler steps. A testy and surprisingly lifelike dinobot snapped its mechanical jaws.

Meanwhile at last week's Demo 2001, a prestigious computer-...

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