When I was a kid, I was told that flying cars and robots would be common by the time I was grown up. I never liked the idea of growing-up, but I figured I would at least have my robot by my side, driving my flying car, while I complained about something. Well, turns out that flying car thing was complete propaganda, but there may still be hope for my robot….
WowWee Brings Us The RoboMe Robot Buddy
RoboMe is a new interactive robot toy from WowWee. RoboMe is just a toy and not exactly what I was promised as a kid, but it is a major step in the right direction.
Please watch our video review, RoboMe Part 1 -
Please watch RoboMe Part 2 -
RoboMe Shows Robots Are Good For More Than Mindless Vacuuming
WowWee did a great job giving RoboMe lots of personality and making him, well, less robotic. As the video shows, there are really two ways to play with RoboMe – with an iPhone and without an iPhone. Without the iPhone RoboMe is sort of like a slow remote control car with sensors, that cracks jokes.
We love the fact that you do not need an iPhone to play with RoboMe and applaud WowWee for adding a few simple games you can play with RoboMe. The Guard Mode was a favorite with the kids. In Guard Mode RoboMe scans 3 feet in front of him for any movement, if he sees something…he says something. As the video shows, that something is often a wisecrack. The Follow Me game is basically like Simon (hopefully I am not the only one who was addicted to Simon as a kid). Follow the instructions RoboMe gives by punching in the movements on the remote control. A simple memory game, but still fun.
Attach An iPhone Brain to RoboMe and The Real Fun Begins
RoboMe is fine without an iPhone brain, but probably not worth his $99 retail price. However, attach an iPhone and suddenly you have a programmable robot with eyes, ears, a complex brain and a mouth! Please watch Part 2 of our video review, as it really does a much better job showing off the RoboMe with an iPhone than we could do in words. Basically, in addition to controlling the RoboMe with another iPhone, you can also program events to happen based on triggers. Now if RoboMe sees something, you can program him to spin around three times, close his eyes and scream, “Help We’re All Going To Die!”
RoboMe Still Has A Few Rough Edges
We had a great time playing with RoboMe, but there still are a few rough edges. RoboMe can do Telepresence, so you have one iPhone hooked up to RoboMe and a second iPhone or iPad is used to control RoboMe and see and hear what RoboMe is seeing and hearing. We found getting this to work a bit of a challenge. You need to be on the same WiFi, logged in as the same user, having iOS versions that match, etc. You can get it all to work, but we encourage you to check out the WowWee support page to make sure your iOS devices will work. The good news is, these issues should not be permanent and may be fixed by the time you are reading this! WowWee has submitted an app upgrade and it may well correct many of the connection issues with Telepresence. This is another feature we like about RoboMe, with new app releases, WowWee can add additional features and fix any bugs. I’m hoping for the app updated that gives RoboMe the power to pick up my kids from school.
Want A Robot With Personality, Go With RoboMe
RoboMe does a great job of taking a pile of electronic components and giving it life and personality. The ability to customize the face plate, change the triggers and play games all gives RoboMe a very engaging personality. If you are looking to give RoboMe eyes and ears, you need to go with an iOS device, no Android support at this time. We also wish the telepresence was easier for kids to setup, but we are hopefully this will be corrected in a free app upgrade. Overall, if your kids are into remote control toys and robots, they will love RoboMe. The ability to program RoboMe and change his trigger reactions add a good deal of play value to RoboMe. Parents, just be careful what you say and do around the house, you never know if RoboMe will be watching!
RoboMe From WowWee, Ages 8+, Retail $99
Purchase RoboMe at Toys R Us