Eco-Be!On March 6 in Osaka, Japan, Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) unveiled a mini-robot driven by a small wristwatch motor.

The two-wheeled robot -- called “Eco-Be!” -- is 1.8 cm wide and 2.5 cm tall and is operated via infrared remote control.

At the unveiling, the tiny robot demonstrated the ability to move forward and backward, as well as turn smoothly from side to side. Eco-Be!, which is powered by watch batteries and features low power consumption, will make an appearance at RoboCup 2006 in Germany this June.

Citizen president Makoto Umehara says he hopes Eco-Be! will prove useful in the development of smaller and lighter weight robots. The company will conduct further research with Osaka University to improve the robot’s performance.

[Source: Hokkaido Shimbun Press]