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 10, 2009

Rubik's Cube Comes in Transformer Style

transrubiks.jpg

We are not sure why there is a seemingly never ending succession of Rubik's Cubes. We only know that the Transformers have been seen hanging out on one. The Transformers Allspark Rubiks Cube doesn't need a robot to solve it, but it would probably help.

Via Entertainment Earth

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

Bad Robot, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Ruairi Robinson, producer of "The Silent City", "Breakfast on Pluto" and other filmstuff, has come up with a new one. The Academy Award nominated director is currently in post-production on "Bad Robot," after being filmed in LA. Aside from this quick peek and the fact that it is billed as comedic sci-fi, not much else is known. We did happen to catch a glimpse of an accompanying poster that seems to label it a cross between Chucky and Sonny from "i,Robot."

badrobotposter.jpg

Via Quiet Earth

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

October 19, 2009

Meyer's Mini R2-D2

Rob Meyer generally makes larger robots, but he came up with a 1:18 scale RC R2-D2 that stands only 6cm (2.36"). (Call Guinness!) The little guy has 2 GM15 pager gearmotors for the drive and one for the dome (which was made out of a measuring spoon.) He has an acrylic body and built up brass tubing for legs.

Via Solarbotics

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

October 15, 2009

Send a Phone Call From a Transformer

transrevenge.jpg

Now that you have made yourself into a Transformer, the next logical step is to send a personalized call to your buds as either Optimus Prime or Starscream. This is a part of the celebration for the release of "Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen" on DVD and Blu-ray October 20. While you are on the site, you can enter to win a car or customize your Facebook page.

(Thanks, Matt)

Via Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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

October 9, 2009

Must Have: Astro Boy Comes to the Cinema

"Astro Boy" is about to fly into in a theater near you. The film debuts October 23 and some of the voices featured are Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Cage. A kind of modern-day Pinnochio, the trailer looks good but this version doesn't seem to have the charm of the original.

Via Astro Boy The Movie

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October 8, 2009

ActiveLink Builds Power Loader Suit

The Panasonic subsidiary ActiveLink has been working on a Power Loader Suit that has 18 electromagnetic motors allowing the user to lift over 200 lbs. while feeling the movement. If the "dual-arm power amplification robot" looks and sounds familiar, it gets its name from the sci-fi classic movie "Aliens." The suit weighs about 500 lbs., will be used for disaster relief and may become available by 2015.

aliensloader.jpg

Via ActiveLink

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

September 29, 2009

R2-D2 Mod Plays Games, Literally

r2mod.jpg

Pop Sci reader Brian De Vitis took an R2-D2 cooler and created one of the kewlest mods we have ever seen. He gutted 8 game consoles so all the ports would fit in the right direction and still had space enough for a sound system and a projector! Want to date yourself? See how many of the controllers you can identify.

Via Pop Sci

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September 17, 2009

Make Yourself a Transformer

revengeofthefallen.JPG

To keep the Transformer movie Revenge of the Fallen alive before it hits its October DVD release, the movie site has created a way for you to become one. Upload or take a head shot with your webcam, select your robot of choice and, after a few steps, you will be one!

Via Robotize Me


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

September 16, 2009

Surrogates - Scads of Robots

Here's the thing. We have never been Bruce Willis fans, even when he began shaving his head and strove to be Mr. Macho. However, watching the trailer from Surrogates leads us to believe we can suffer through him for a couple of hours. Set to come out September 25, there are enough robots in this movie worth a viewing.

Via Surrogates


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

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