Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Sony Rolly Worked

An Eggstraordinary Dancer

You already know that Rolly let you play robot DJ, but you could also manually control Rolly's dance moves with the Custom Choreography capability. The software's interface was divided into two sections: the motion editor on one side and on the other, a graphic showing the moves you were currently creating.

Play back the song you wanted to use, and the software visually displayed the beat. This let you know right where to program a specific movement to match the audio. You didn't have to manually program an entire routine -- you could use parts of Sony's preset moves, which you downloaded from the company Web site. On the same site, you could download moves created by other users and share your own triumphant motion masterpieces.

Sony also included a list of presets for Rolly's lights. You could tweak and play with these to your heart's content, as there were more than 700 lighting variations. Between the motion and lighting sequences, the possibilities for complex desktop disco were pretty much endless.

Sony rolled out the Rolly in Japan in 2007 and the United States and other parts of the world in 2008, but it never became a hot-selling item. That may have been because people weren't quite sure what to make of Rolly, but slow sales also likely resulted due to the $200-plus price tag.

In spite of its halting popularity, you can still find Rolly on retail and auction sites across the Web. Splurge a bit and you'll have yourself an MP3 player that not only stands out but also rocks and rolls to a rhythm all its own.