Some products, such as phones called things like 'Shine' or 'Chocolate', succeed in part because they have great names, whereas others are hindered by clunky monikers that are almost designed to be forgettable. In the latter category is a very clever little robot known as Pirkus-R Type-01 DX from Robot Labs of Japan.

The ¥249,000 (£1,090) kit robot recently received an update to his mechanics to include better actuators and gyro sensors that help his already-impressive bipedal walking ability. At just over 1kg and 30cm tall, Pirkus has plenty more tricks up his sleeve too.

Wireless warrior

Control of the 'bot is via a Bluetooth link from a PC or suitable mobile phone - KDDI sells several that can run the BREW-based comms software. That application also receives feedback from Pirkus in the form of photos from his onboard camera.

On top of that, the humanoid machine can also 'remember' faces when told to do so and can be asked to seek out a particular person using face recognition to match mugshots in his database.

Although Pirkus is little more than a hobbyist's toy, the range of skills on show augur well for more practical machines in future.