Lava Accessories has launched the i-Buddy - a USB gadget that comes alive in a bid to alert PC users when they get a message or email on their PC.

The 3in-tall robot can be connected to a PC via USB and will perform various motions and effects when the user receives a messag containing an emoticon in Windows Live Messenger. The i-Buddy tries to emulate the emotion conveyed by emoticon. Expressions include flapping its wings, glowing one of eight different colours or its heart flashing.

The i-Buddy will also dance to tracks played on Windows Media Player, and make other movement to alert users to email notifications, download completions, mouse clicks, alarms and computer weather widgets.

Lava also said the i-Buddy can be customised by the user to make movements for other alerts such as football team goal alerts and calendar alarms.

"One of the key features of the i-Buddy is its interactive qualities, not just in terms of the physical gadget but the online community that goes hand in hand. New updates for the i-Buddy are being released every week, and now shared for free," said Ian Pearson, managing director, at Lava Accessories.

Available in four different versions; original, twins, angel and devil and special edition black or white, the i-Buddy is available from Amazon and is priced at £19.99.

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