November 1, 2008

Robot Snob 2008 Holiday Gift Guide

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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 Most of them have been out for awhile, and as we all know, the longer an electronic is out, the more outdated it is, and the price drops.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

September 22, 2008

Limited Edition Hello Kitty Roomba - Meow!

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Cutesy alert! iRobot has a new Roomba. The Limited Edition Hello Kitty version will be available September 30. At a price of ¥84,500 (~$810.00,) only 500 are available. If you want one to get your kids to clean up, visit the Japanese iRobot page for this version of their Classic Roomba.

Via DVICE

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

September 8, 2008

iRobot Breaks Out New Roombas

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iRobot has launched its newest Roombas in the form of Pet robotic vacuums. The two models have higher capacity sweeper bins, brushes for digging into thick carpeting, and counter-rotate to make cleaning easier. Designed for those who have pets that shed or more dirt than the average family, they feature iRobot's three-stage cleaning that automatically adjusts to type of flooring and light-touch bumper.

The 532 comes with Virtual Walls for guidance, can clean up to three rooms on a single charge, and is available for $349.99. The 562 carries a price of $399.99 and includes on-board scheduling. Both come with an extra set of brushes to help dig out that doggy dander and furrballs that were found in a corner, as well as 2 additional filters and cleaning tools.

Via iRobot at iRobot
Roomba 532 Pet Series Vacuum Cleaning Robot
and iRobot
562 Pet Cleaning Robot

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

July 29, 2008

Mr. Pitiful Sings Praises of Roomba

Mr. Pitiful, one of YouTube's most popular musicians, has just completed his newest tune. Entitled "Brand New Friend (the Roomba Song,)" it is too funny for words. Maybe iRobot will make it a commercial success. If you like it, visit his MySpace Page, listed below, for more of his work.

Via Mr. Pitiful

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

July 2, 2008

Readybot Hires Roomba

Ya gotta love the Readybot. It was devised by a team of engineers and designers in Silicon Valley who arranged a contest (a la DARPA Urban challenge) to build a kitchen cleaning bot. The result is the Readybot, who has been around for awhile, but has recently decided it needs help. So the team added a Roomba to pick up the little stuff. The group is hoping to expand the growing domestic robotics industry with its publicity. We thought we wanted one of these robots before, now we are convinced. Now if they would just teach Readybot to clean the cat box.

Via Readybot Home Page

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

May 8, 2008

Robo Vacuum - Sweep Up Buzz Lightyear Style

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For $14.99 you can get one of these robo shaped desk vacuums, and finally clean up those pencil shavings. Simply push the top button to activate suction and slide over dry crumbs, pencil shavings or other debris. Powered by two AA batteries (not included). We're pretty fond of the blue-black robot, but perhaps RED is all the rage in desktop robot vacuums these days.

Via The Red Ferret Journal at Perpetual Kid

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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