May 21, 2010

Must Have: Iron Man Interactive Helmet

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So your kids can't get enough Iron Man? Let them freak out family members and small pets with a Helmet that is voice-activated. One button moves the slow release visor, the eyes light up and there are three different battle modes. Push the combat mission button and orders are given while the battle sounds button issues power-up, flight and combat sound effects. Recommended for kids over 8, batteries are included.

Via Iron Man Helmet

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

May 14, 2010

Must Have: Robot Gifts For The Studious

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For the scholarly robot freak, these Robot Bookends would make a great gift. Made of wood, each side is 5.5" x 3.5" x 8" and personalization is available. And because we believe that those who still read still know what a pencil is, think about this 4.5 x 2 x 3.6" plastic Robot Sharpener from Kikkerland.

Via Robot Gifts

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

May 7, 2010

Must Have: Free PR2 Bots in Beta Program

Willow Garage is offering 11 research teams its PR2 robots in a free, 2 year Beta Program. Because the bots are built with an open-source software platform, they can be programmed for many different roles in areas of perception, navigation, and manipulation. Worth more than $4 million, the recipients will be 10 universities in Japan Belgium, Germany and the US, and the tool and parts company Bosch.

By the way, one of those chosen is located at UC Berkely. This is the same team that taught a PR2 to fold towels. Now they will try to teach it how to do an entire load of laundry.

Via Willow Garage

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

April 30, 2010

Must Have: Lost in Space

We were watching "Lost in Space" last weekend and had forgotten how cheesy the show was. The show we saw (season 2, episode 7) featured not only Lyle Waggoner of "Carol Burnett Show" fame, it had a female robot that "spread terror throughout the universe." You gotta love that and the fact that the producers managed to dress the crew, including the males, in pastel.

Via Lost in Space

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

April 23, 2010

Must Have: Revolving Robots and Gears Box

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There is no limit to the lengths we will go to find strange and unusual robot accessories. The Midwest Revolving Robots and Gears Box has parts that actually move and rotate. The 7 x 4.8 x 12" device contains a bonus stash drawer and needs 3AAA batteries to operate (not included.)

Via Revolving Robots and Gears Box

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

April 16, 2010

Must Have: SYMA Gyro Helicopter

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Show those other sissies and their measly mini-planes up with your SYMA GYRO HC Helicopter with built-in gyroscope. This new version has advanced stability, 2 micro motors, an LED light for night flying and can go for up to 8 minutes on its Li-Poly 3.7v 130mAh rechargeable battery pack. Recharge via included transmitter or USB for about half an hour to produce flights of up to 30 ft. And if you initial flight is a literal downer, a spare tail rotor is included.

Via SYMA GYRO HC Helicopter

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

April 9, 2010

Must Have: Robot Party Supplies

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Throw your bot buddies a celebration with these 8 colorful 9" dinner plates. Add to that 7" dessert dishes.

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Also available are 16 napkins and 18" balloons. Party on!

Via Robot Party Supplies

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

April 2, 2010

Must Have: Bossa Nova Prime-8

We were really excited when Jessica Rusack of Litzky PR let us know that we would be finally getting a loaner of a Prime-8 from Bossa Nova to review.

If you have read any of our previous reviews then you know that we always give it the "cat test." If the cats like it, it is suitable for young kids. Prime-8 failed this one the first time he roared. In fact, only one showed up to begin with (we have 3.) This is no toy for tots. He growls, moves around loudly, has bad habits and will shoot his targets in a heartbeat.

On the other hand, there is a lot to appreciate here. He sings, dances if you clap, says he is sorry if he trips, and is programmable for up to 10 motions or tricks. He can express boredom, do push ups, stretch while on his head and crawl on his back. He also plays games, has animotion robotics (can balance on his arms) and is a perfect companion for a tween that still likes to play and has patience to program.

One of the cool things about the apebot is that he can be used as security. Load him up with those plastic darts and when someone enters the room, he shoots them before the intruder has a chance to load up his/her Nerf N-Strike Blaster. All in all, Prime-8 is the macho answer to Zhu Zhu Pets and once you get used to his loudness, ya gotta love him.

(Thanks, Jessica)

Via Bossa Nova Prime-8

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

March 26, 2010

Must Have: Penbo and Bebe

Jessica Rusack of Litzky PR sent us a Bossa Nova Penbo to play with so we quickly put her through her paces. Recommended for kids between the ages of 5 and 10, our first reaction to the furry penguin is that she is literally bright enough to grab the attention of toddlers as she passed the "cat test." Grace poked at her a couple of times then sat down and watched as she waddled around and chatted in her weird language that almost sounded like English.

There is definitely a learning curve here. Penbo responds when you push her heart button, pinch her wings, tap her head or a do a combination of them. Her baby can be activated the same way and plops out of Mama's stomach in an enclosed egg. There are long and short pinches, and double taps, and Bebe has just as many.

Watch the weird relationship between mom and Bebe. They chirp to each other, dance together and Penbo gets noticeably anxious if you take her penguinette away. Bebe also is constantly communicating with her elder, so be careful not to lose her.

That being said, this is no Furby. Penbo dances, can be told to go left or right, sings a tune and plays 5 games. We tried a couple of them but musical chairs and tag works better if you actually participate. We could have used a toddler or two.

Penbo also has moods. She can be happy, sad, excited, bored or fall asleep if you forget about her. Once you get used to her language and the commands, she would undoubtedly make any little girl (or boy who likes pink penguins) a fun companion.

(Thanks, Jessica)

Via Penbo

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

March 19, 2010

Must Have: Robo-Q RQ-01

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The Robo-Q Mini Robot may only be 3.4 cm tall, but it can still amuse/annoy your family and friends. The RQ-01 can move forward, left and right via remote control and an IR sensor will keep it from bouncing into walls, people and pets. Don't forget 4AA batteries (not included.)

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Set him up against the minute M-O1 that needs 3 AAA batteries (not included.) The mini-dude from "Wall-E" has a controller that doubles as a storage base.

Via Robo-Q RQ-01

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

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