What do you get when you mix a car, a robot and a pet? If you are the engineers at Desk Pets you get The CarBot. Knock those images of a robotic dog with wheels out of your head, the CarBot looks like a car…a very small car. The CarBot is about the size of your thumb, but don’t let its micro size fool you, it packs some serious technology into its tiny translucent body. In fact, CarBot is the world’s 1st micro-robotic toy that navigates mazes, avoids obstacles, and is fully controllable by your iDevice or Android phone
Let’s take a look at our video review of the CarBot by Desk Pets in action -
Four Ways to Play With the CarBot
As we show in the video, the CarBot has four different modes…
- Battle mode allows multiple players to battle via infrared and disable opponents car with fire and boost button
- Personality mode entertains crowds and the CarBot autonomously goes crazy drifting, speeding and spinning with lights and sounds
- Maze mode allows players to set up obstacles, while CarBot uses IR sensors to detect mazes and navigate around them with precision
- Drift ‘n’ Race mode allows player to race car at full speed with or without added sound effects
As we only had one CarBot, we could not test the Battle mode. Personality mode is basically a demo mode where the car just spins, makes funny sounds and drives all around. No smartphone is needed for this mode. Maze mode was our favorite mode. It was a blast setting up obstacles and watching the tiny CarBot maneuver around them using its infrared sensors. Drift n’ Race mode is the perfect mode for when you want to torment your cat. Nothing like driving a micro car up to the cat and hitting the fire button on your iPhone until your cat goes insane.
Simple Setup and Simple Operation
Some parents will hear “robotic pet you control with your phone” and have nightmares about complicated setups and endless driver updates. Luckily, the CarBot is our favorite type of gadget, filled with technology but drop dead easy to use. Want to try out the maze mode? Step 1, take the CarBot out of the box. Step 2, press the button on top of the car 3 times and place Carbot on the ground. There is no Step 3! After about 20 minutes of play time you will need to recharge the CarBot by simply plugging him into a USB port for about 40 minutes for a full charge.
Controlling CarBot with your phone is not much more complicated. You download the free app (for iPhone or Android) and plug the smartphone adapter into your headphone jack and start driving. Just make sure your phone is not on mute and the adapter is pointing down. Thankfully you can select from 4 different frequencies, so up to 4 CarBots can be racing and battling at the same time.
CarBots Look Like Cars But Act More Like Pets With Personality
The micro CarBots clearly look like cars, but in truth they behave more like cute and curious pets. You can control the CarBots with your phone, but do not expect a precise, high speed driving experience. These are not cars that you could accurately race through a complicated course. On the other hand, I would like to see another race car that snores and makes all types of funny sounds as it spins around like crazy. In addition, in maze mode, the CarBot seems to have a personality all its own as it tries to find its way through the maze like a mouse after cheese.
CarBots Are Made For Kids, But Destined For a Cubicle Near You
CarBots are rated ages 8+ and being sold by Toys R Us, so Desk Pets is clearly targeting the kids toy market, but don’t be surprised when CarBots start showing up in the office. The micro size, cool translucent case, battle mode, iPhone control and obstacle detection all make for the perfect cubicle toy. This is one of those toys a Dad says he is getting for his son, but somehow it never makes it home from the office!
Conclusion: CarBots Would Probably Take Over The World, If Not For Their Micro Size
CarBots have everything you need to win over the masses and become our supreme leader… intelligence, good looks, a cute and charismatic personality and of course the most important requirement – their own app. Luckily the CarBots are only micro in size, so until they grow up, us humans can rule the roost. In the meantime, pickup a CarBot for your kid, it will be the best toy he never actually gets to play with.
CarBots from Desk Pets Come in 4 Colors. Ages 8+, $29.99. Available at Toys R Us