November 21, 2009

Robot Snob 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

clocky.jpgWe know that holiday shopping can be a major hassle, so we went all out to find robotic stuff to fit every budget. The good news is that almost every company has lowered their prices and when you shop online, tax and shipping charges are often non-existent. That being said, we present our 2009 Holiday Guide.

Robot Kits

elencofollow.jpgAfter building the Elenco Follow Me Robot, its 4 built-in microphones detect sounds and it will move towards them. For kids 12 and older, it needs no soldering and needs 4AA batteries (not included.) The Discovery Kids Biped EZ Robot kit has 15 pieces to assemble and a remote for those over 8.

dartharm.jpgWhy get a usual Waldo when you can get a Darth Vader Robotic Arm? The snap together kit grips and holds objects, needs no batteries and includes a stand with built-in control. With the Rockit Robot kit, you can build one that has a touch sensor that learns not to run into walls, a sound sensor for responding to your voice and instructions with more than one project.

phoenix.jpegFor serious robot builders, Trossen has some great deals. Their Phoenix Hexapod Kit is as state of the art as it can get with several walking gaits with omnidirectional translation and body rotation on all axis. The SumoBot Kit provides you with everything you need to become a competitor in the realm of Mini-Sumo tournaments.

Robot Movies

michaelrennie.jpgMovies, including Blu-ray, are completely affordable these days. We can never get enough of the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal, even better now that it comes in a 2-disc set. Younger generations will appreciate the 2008 version that stars Keanu Reeves.

terminatorsalvation.jpgKids will also dig the effects in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Terminator fans, we haven't forgotten you. The Director's Cut of "Terminator Salvation", starring Christian Bale, will soon be out. And we never get enough of viewing "Wall-E".

roomba560.jpgOf course, no one can compete with iRobot when it comes to vacuums, and for the holidays they are offering special deals. In fact, this year we are putting one under our tree. Purchase a 400 series and get a free pet upgrade. A 500 series includes a brush pack and a 300 series Scuba will get you either cleaning solution or replenish kit. And, by the way, shipping is free with purchases over $59.00.

Collectors' Items

r2d2collector.jpgThere is no way to compete with Schylling. We recommend the Small Lilliput, the High Wheel and our fave, the Chrome Planet Robot. This R2-D2 is part of the original figures from the first Star Wars and is a limited edition with its interlocking base and electronic beeps.

Robotic Pets

whitetiger.jpgWowWee's Alive White Tiger Cub has realistic fur with sensors in his head and back to respond. He makes baby feline noises and works by remote. The company puts out a whole slew of robotic pets including their Mini Leopard Cub.

ptrex.jpgAlso furry is Playskool's Stomper's Triceratops that we recently reviewed and personally adored. Playskool also puts out Monty T-Rex who not only moves and roars, he sneezes and plays tunes.

mrsquiggles.jpgWe had to include one of this year's hottest toys. Zhu Zhu Hamsters may replace Elmo. They chirp, zip across the floor and each has their own personality. Choose between Mr. Squiggles, Pipsqueek, Num Nums and Chunk. Try to remember at some point that your kid(s) will want the Go Go Funhouse and the Adventure Ball. (Hurry up when ordering these guys as they were featured on "Nightline," so you know they are going to sell out quickly.)

The FurReal Chocolate Lab Puppy can be a fun and worry free pet. And, although he has no fur, we had to include Interactive Wall-E.

Under $50.00

The 10 1/4" Robbie the Robot Talking Alarm Clock says, "Wake Up Wake Up" as his chest moves, strobe lights go off and his antenna spins. Clocky will amuse kids or force your spouse/partner out of bed in the a.m. as he jumps from your nightstand up to 3 feet high.

The first robot designed for girls (and boys who like them,) Tekno's Sakura
tells fortunes, gives compliments and fashion tips, dances and answers "yes" and "no" questions. The macho XPV R.A.D. Robotic Air Defense flies as fast as 30 mph and up to 20 stories. It comes with rechargeable battery and includes repair kit.

buzzlgtyr.jpgNow that Toy Story has been re-released in 3D, you probably know someone who would love this electronic Buzz Lightyear. He talks, makes sound effects, his wings pop out and he can take anyone to infinity and beyond. Don't forget about Tribot, who is about half the price that he was last year.

Under $20.00

The Unofficial Lego Mindstorms NXT Inventor's Guide (Paperback) will give any robotics freak fresh ideas. If history is more to his/her liking, Robot traces back AIs from their roots.

Wind-up Gort will walk even if you forget to say "Klaatu barada nikto." The Hog Wild Robot Calculator displays up to 8 digits and will be your best friend. His arms can hold pens, pencils and included nightlight, while his magnetic back holds paper clips.

handy.jpgWe already told you about Chuck, the talking truck, and it seems that Tonka has an entire series of his pals (a couple of them a bit over $20.00.) Choose from Rowdy, the GarbageTruck, with spinning wheels, Boomer, the Fire Truck, who has lights and makes noise, and Handy, the Tow Truck, that can fetch the other three should they get lost. They may not respond like Chuck, but they are just as cute and colorful.

Under $10.00

minifemi.jpgThe 9" Mini-Femisapien runs on batteries, is posable and trots around the room. We didn't realize that Shrinky Dinks were still around until we found these robotic ones.

Nerds will love the fact that Olive Kids customized their Robot Bookmark. Remember to include a Kikkerland Cranky Desk Toy on your list for any friends who are stuck in cubicles all day.

Stocking Stuffers Under $5.00

voltwindup.jpgDover's Create Your Own Robot Sticker Activity Book would make a great stocking stuffer. Wind-up Volt is about 2" tall and can repair your other robots. The Cool Robot Note Pad measures 5 x 6" and has 50 sheets per pad.

The Mini Robopanda is only 7.5" but is tall enough to have poseable head and legs and blinking LED eyes. Wear your robot on your sleeve jacket or shirt with an Iron On C3PO.

Over $100.00

We cannot imagine any kid (or adult) wouldn't love a LEGO Mindstorm this year, especially since the NXT 2.0 was released. For the princess (or Prince) in your life, think Butterscotch the Pony that moves her head, blinks, wags her tail and responds to humans.

idsobot.jpgDino freaks will prefer the roaring, laughing and movements of the 3 ft. tall
Kota and Pleo has been newly reborn. Tomy's I-SOBOT is half the price that it was last year.

Last but not least, don't forget the batteries! This should be your year to go eneloop. We have been using them for 2 years now in various small electronics and they are still going strong.

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 19, 2009

Mr. Wake Rouses Sleepers

Take Clocky one step further and you end up with Mr. Wake. "isotope" created this robot that gets you up and then runs for the hills, or at least the next room. His Basic V2.0 contest entry took him about 18 hours to build at a cost of about $80.00 and is still a work in progress.

Via Let's Make Robots

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 9, 2009

Licensed R2 Q5 USB Hub


Looking around for a new USB hub? The licensed R2 Q5 has 4 ports, connects to your PC and when plugged in, does the usual eye flashing, head spinning and noise making. Compatible with both Windows and Mac, the 5.9" droid comes with a $127.00 price tag.

Via Japan Trend Shop

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 28, 2009

Robot Parade Keepsake Ornament


The holidays will be upon us before we know it, and we are already looking for robots to make yours brighter. Along with the Hallmark Robby the Robot ornament, we found a Robot Parade Keepsake, part of the Series 2000 of retired ones that comes in its original packaging.

Via Robot Parade Keepsake Ornament

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 26, 2009

Alien Abduction Lamp Lands on Earth


We first heard about the Alien Abduction Lamp about a year ago and it has finally gone from prototype to reality. We don't see any robots rearing their ugly heads, but you just never know. A limited edition of 2000 is being offered from the Earth Defense Force. Each steel lamp works with LEDs, has a glowing cockpit, is signed by designer Lasse Klein and has a UFO control antenna that can be turned on/off or pulse. Be the first on your block to adopt a few aliens for $100.00.

Via Alien Abduction Lamp

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 23, 2009

Must Have: Protect Your Baby With Carini Bambini


Protect those newborns from the evil robots with this 5 piece Carini Bambini Bedding Set. It comes with sheet, skirt, quilt, bumper and, to complete the package, a musical mobile to protect and defend. The blue and red bedding is 200 thread count cotton and is easy-care wash and dry.

Via Carini Bambini Bedding Set

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October 19, 2009

Punk-O-Tron Rules Halloween


With Halloween coming up, it is no surprise that even pumpkins are becoming robotic. Made by Ang and Nick, Punk-O-Tron was made with duct tape and pipe and will certainly greet the neighbor's kids in his own special way.


If you prefer the friendlier type, "bolts and bots" makes all kinds of bots out of polymer clay, glass beads and wire including this 2.5cm tall (~1") Pumpkin Bot.

Via Punk-O-Tron

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 6, 2009

Muriko Wearable Eyebot

Not since Malcolm McDowell wore eyeball cuff links in Clockwork Orange have we seen something so creepy. The Miruko Eyeball Robot goes on your sleeve and consists of a built-in camera and WiFi. When it senses an object, it reacts to it by helping to, in this case, close in on the monster.

Via Pink Tentacle

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October 1, 2009

Panasonic Debuts Transforming Robobed


Panasonic probably developed this bed that transforms into a wheelchair for those who can't get around much anymore, but hey, couch potatoes will love it, too. The bed converts by the user and has a control system that is easy to operate. While it is a bed, it features posture support technology and helps the user turn over to prevent bedsores. A canopy allows viewing TV, operating electronic devices and has a security camera built-in. As a chair it can detect obstacles and people to avoid collisions.

The Robotic Bed makes its debut at the 36th International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition (H.C.R. 2009) to be held in Tokyo from September 29 to October 1, 2009.

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 24, 2009

Dragons Vs. Robots Online Game

Dragons Vs. Robots is an online game designed for kids 9 - 14. While its main focus is the two factions in a brawl, somehow it manages to include an energy crisis. After signing up and designing your avatar (dragon or robot,) the games begin.

Below is the storyline. Note that the word "energy" is used three times, so it must be important.

"Spanning over 200 years and three generations of future history, the Dragons Vs. Robots narrative involves a devastating energy crisis that leads to the rise of powerful robots and the reawakening of ancient dragons. The source of their conflict is Protium, a rare energy resource that serves as a life force for both dragons and robots. Humans, who also need this precious substance to resolve the energy crisis, must choose their allegiance -- and so the battle lines are drawn."

Uh-huh. A manga is also available on the beta site for those who would rather watch than play.

Via PR Web

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