We sent Intern Brian Dunn over to Robot Village, New York's only store dedicated entirely to robots. He returned mostly unscathed.
Robot Village has been operating out of New York's Upper West Side since 2004. It's a one-of-a-kind store—its opening prompted the Yellow Pages to add a new "Robots" category. The store is either the beginnings of mankind's harmonious future with our mechanical brethren or a site of future agony during the inevitable robot revolution.
Robot Village carries a wide selection of robot-related goods, everything from novelty items like "Robot Vision" kaleidoscopes to high-tech toys like Pleo and i-SOBOT. It also has resources for building your own robots, including kid-friendly kits such as the RobotiKits line and more advanced ones such as Vexplorer and the LEGO Mindstorms NXT.
And if you really want to get your hands dirty, they carry microcontrollers, motors, sensors, and other parts to build your own robot with. In addition to their wares, they offer classes on robot building for both children and adults.
They have a demonstration table, with a variety of robots laid out for the customers' personal enjoyment.
Note the stack of R2s.
The workshop is a bit cluttered, but everyone knows that's a sign of quality. Organization hampers inventiveness.
I finished my visit with a lively robot battle against Rob, the technician in residence. These little bots go very fast and smash into each other.
For more photos of the place, you can check out my entire Flickr set.