November 14, 2008

Must Have Robot: iRobot Wall-E Roomba


It's a double Must Have Robot Friday. "Wall-E" is coming to home video Nov. 18. Pre-order the Blu-ray Three-Disc Special Edition for $22.99 now to get one for the holidays for family fun. You also get a download. There is a widescreen single DVD available for $16.99.


If you are an extreme fan of the movie bot, iRobot has teamed with Disney/Pixar to create a limited Wall-E themed 530 Roomba. Due to come out the 20th, 400 special editions are similar to others of the series. It will clean three rooms with help of wall transmitters and knows to return to its dock for a recharge. Contact iRobot if you can cough up the $860.00 deluxe price.

Via electronista

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

November 1, 2008

Robot Snob 2008 Holiday Gift Guide


Robotics can get to be quite expensive, as those of us at Robot Snob know. But with the economy being the way it is, we have scanned the Net to find the best bots for fewer bucks. We have included categories by the budget as well as kids' stuff, those for adults, and some for DIY fans. Happy shopping with our First Annual Gift Guide!

Under $50.00

Grandport has several kits for those who are just getting started in robotics. With brightly colored pieces and plastic pieces that snap together, choose from Tarmo, Sumobot, and TouchMe. Solarbotic's Herbie the Mouse needs some soldering, but will keep anyone amused by his battery-powered antics. Discovery's Kids Electronic Gadget Lab can make over 100 projects with 30 snap pieces.

Under $25.00

There are many robots that may do a little less, but can amuse adults and children alike for under $25.00. Most of them have been out for awhile, and as we all know, the longer an electronic is out, the more outdated it is, and the price drops. But kids and those who are not yet robotically inclined will love one of these.

The WowWee Robotics Roboquad is one of these. Originally about $90.00, you can now get one for $23.97. WowWee also has other bots for little funds, such as their Mini Robosapien V2, the Mini Robopanda and the blue R/C FlyTech Dragonfly. We have shown you this one before, but the Discovery Build Your Own Robot Kit is a great kit for amateurs.

Under $10.00

There are plenty of windup stocking stuffers and miniature bots for those on a super-budget. Our selections include Schylling's Classic Windup Robot, the Galactic Robot Windup, SparkDino, Boogie Bots, the Mazinger Z Wind-up Tin Toy and the Mini Robot Tin.

Over $100.00

If money is no object, at the top of the list has to be our fave Sesame Street character, Elmo Live. Although they will be in short supply, we think it is worth the effort to find one, although you may end up paying more than the current list price of around $60.00. We also suggest a Pleo, who becomes more affordable all the time, and have new applications every time we turn around.

For pets, althought the Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box seems a tad expensive, think what a great gift this would be for yourself! And we cannot leave out our favorite module Lego Mindstorms NXT, the do-it-yourself kit that is so popular that it has its own site.

Robot Vacuums

Of course, iRobot has the perfect gifts for those who hate household chores. Now there are several Roombas available. The original Roomba cleans both carpet and bare floors and starts at a mini-price of $129.99. The Scooba will clean the scummiest of bathroom and kitchen floors. It preps, washes, scrubs and squeegees on wood, linoleum, and other surfaces. The Dirt Dog cleans up sawdust, small nails, nuts and bolts, and is the perfect gift for wives that want to hint around to their mates. The Verro is perfect for those who can't afford poolboys, while the Looj is a good way to erase something off the honey-do list. Don't forget the ConnectR that allows you to see and chat with family and friends. There are limited supplies of the ConnectR, but you can get on their mailing list for future availability.

DIY Kits

If you have someone in your life who prefers the DIY route, try one of these suggestions. Trossen has a wide variety of them that include their humanoid kits come in all price ranges. They also have kits for beginners that are not only fun, but will get your child on the early road to robotics.

Movie Robots

Let's not forget those Movie bots. Although we covet the can-do-it-all U Command Wall-E any fan of the film and iPods would settle for the i-Dance WALL-E for less than $20.00. Transformer fans will surely love the Deluxe Payload Armored Truck. Movies are always welcome for the holidays and a really fine way to keep your kids occupied when you are exhausted from all the festivities. We recommend Robots or I, Robot for teens. Finally, if you have never seen the movie Short Circuit (from 1986), this is a fun family fare for the holidays.

Plush Robots

For younger kids, try one of Hasbro's FurReal Friends. Their collection includes Squawkers McCaw Parrot to the more affordable Newborn Chimp, Kitten, Dalmation Puppy and Honey Bear, all of which are under $20.00. Buy more than one at a time and they are even less expensive.

Robot Gifts for Toddlers and Babies

Finally, let's not forget the little ones. If you know someone who recently added a newcomer to the family, how about a Robots : People of the Future or this Robots Love Dancing Onesie? There is even a plush Disney Meet the Robinsons 10" Carl the Robot Doll.

Still haven't found what you want? Keep checking in the weeks ahead with us and we will be relentless in our search to make this holiday affordable for all our botty friends. Let us know in our comment section if you find something that will make others gleeful this season.

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

October 15, 2008

R2-D2 Plush Backpack


R2-D2 now comes in plush. The backpack is a fun pal for any fan of the Jedi. At a size of 19 x 15", it has adjustable straps and enough room to carry all your Star Wars Memorabilia. Get yours for $49.99.

Via Think Geek

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September 16, 2008

HC Gilje's Wind-Up Birdbots

HC Gilje and team have created Wind-Up Birds, as part of the UT-21 project in a Lillehammer, Norway forest. The automated avians tap like woodpeckers every 5 minutes. We have included some of what the experiment was meant to do, because we certainly can't convey it as well as they do.

"How will nature treat them, with hostillity or acceptance? How will the wind-up birds adapt to heat/cold wet/dry conditions? Will small insects creep inside the circuitry creating possible short circuits, beetles eat the wood, squirrels use the wood slit as nut storage (or the roof as a slide?), birds use it as a shelter, etc.? Will they be treated as foreign objects or accepted into the local eco-system? How do real woodpeckers react? Are they threatened, attracted, or not bothered? Will they use the roof as a pecking drum?"

After 15 minutes, an authentic woodpecker joined in, but perhaps he simply wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Via Wind-Up Birds Project

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September 2, 2008

The Dark Knight Attack Bat


Terrorize your friends with this Dark Knight Attack Bat. Let him sleep until they come in, then press a button to make his eyes glow and he begins to verbalize. If they are not yet afraid, another button will make the winged mammal fly around the room. At a size of 12 x 8 x 3 1/2", you can get one for your belfry for $27.99.

Via Entertainment Earth

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August 25, 2008

Homebrew Wall-E Wins TRC


Trossen Robotics holds contests every few months for those who like to do it themselves. Their last competition ended July 31 and the top prize went to the Homebrew Wall-E and his creator "4mem8." You can get the complete winners' list to give you some inspiration to enter their next one.


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August 11, 2008

Ultimate Wall-E to be Released


You can now pre-order the Ultimate Wall-E from Disney. This bot can chat, dance, play music from your MP3 player, and follow you around. The robot has 4 audio sensors for 360ยบ sound detection, 4 motion sensors, and obstacle sensors. Of course his eyes light up and blink, and his hands can grip. With the infrared remote, you can create up to 1,000 action combinations. The Ultimate Wall-E comes with the ultimate price of $259.95 and should become available within the next 10 weeks.

Via Disney Shopping

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July 31, 2008

50's Movie Hero, Robbie the Robbot


Want a kewl movie bot without having to assemble it? The Robot Store has Robbie the Black Planet Robot, the 50's tin replica. Wind him up and he walks while his face fills with sparks. Robbie is all of 9" tall with a price of only $14.95. While you are shopping, check out the online store's other pre-assembled creatures and kits, as well as links to other botty stuff.

Via The Robot Store

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July 17, 2008

Pittsburgh to Celebrate 250th Anniversary Robotically


By the spring of next year, and partially because of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh will become the permanent home of the Robotic Hall of Fame. This year, in honor of the city's 250th anniversary, CMU, the U. of P. and other foundations will be sponsoring Robot 250, a robotic arts festival. BigBots will be scattered throughout the city and there will be robot-building workshops, a theatre production and a botty film festival with such films as "Shrek," "A.I.," and "Westworld."

Via Robot 250 Festival

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July 16, 2008

Take the MST3K Quiz


If you were a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, mental floss has come up with a mini-quiz to test your knowledge. There are only 10 questions to see how you stack up against your fellow MST3K groupies. And, by the way, if you are still into the show and miss the old series, you can order DVDs, clothing, and other oddities on the official site or Amazon.

Via mental floss

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