Category Archives: Robots

Sky Viper Streaming Drone

The Sky Viper Streaming Drone is one of the best drones that you can buy for the price – and it’s made it to Walmart’s Hottest 25 Toys of 2016 list this year. It’s easy to use and packed with features that many of the higher priced drones have.

It’s about 13” from blade to blade and it weighs about two pounds, so it’s fairly lightweight. Set up is easy. The drone arrives already put together so to get it up in the air, all that’s required is that you charge it and add the batteries.

It has a fast charge and you get a decent amount of flying time with the drone. Users report that they get anywhere from 8-13 minutes of flying time. That’s plenty of time for your streaming projects.

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As with any drone that you purchase, you’re going to have to calibrate it first to ensure accuracy with the sensors. These sensors are what allow your drone to be able to sense things that can interfere with its ability to operate – such as gusts of wind or buildings or trees.

Maneuverability is easy with the drone and it has a quick response to remote control directional changes. The drone is made for a variety of users and you can set it for the flight mode that best meets your skill level.

These modes are beginner, intermediate or advanced. Anyone who has never flown a drone before should always start out at the beginner level until you get used to how the drone operates.

You can use this drone if you’re inside a building or outside. There are safety guards that you can use on the blades if you’re flying it indoors to keep it from getting damaged or damaging something else.

The camera on the drone has the ability to move 130 degrees in different directions, which allows you to capture some pretty decent aerial footage. If you use the panoramic video camera, you can get shots from all angles with a flyover and you can take 360 degree snapshots.

The distance for clarity is about 200 feet. You can choose to take pictures or you can stream video. Though it does come with the camera, you don’t have to keep the camera on the drone if you’d like to remove it.

It’s recommended you remove the camera if you’re going to use the drone in the advanced mode to do stunts or other actions that could possibly damage the camera.

Stunts are easy to perform, thanks to the one touch stunt button. The body of the drone is made of tough polypropylene for long lasting use. The drone is compatible with a variety of smart devices – including Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices.

Geckobot

In all likelihood you share your house with these little lizards called Geckos or you have been on trips where you have seen them. There are over 1,500 species of them worldwide. But this isn’t a natural history lesson. We are going to look at a new educational toy called the Geckobot that lets you build your own robot gecko.

Thames & Kosmos are known for their fun educational toys and this is one of their latest. It comes in 176 parts that you build to make your very own Geckbot that can walk vertically up any smooth service from walls to windows.

This is achieved by using a motorized, battery driven air suction function that makes the legs move the same as a real life Gecko’s would and the suction pumps enable it to adhere and release itself from the surface with correct timing. It also looks very realistic with a tail that moves from side to side.

How Much?
This robotic lizard retails for around $100.

Who would buy the Geckobot?
This is for kids 8 years and older and should appeal to many kids for different reasons. The set is very similar to LEGO technics so if they like building Lego sets this might appeal. For children who are interested in science and hands on experiments this would definitely be a good buy. For Children who like nature or who are into creepy crawlies this would be a good alternative to them bringing the real thing into the home!

Things We Like About the Geckobot?
This is a great educational toy that can teach a child some basic practical science. It’s also great that they can build it themselves and it comes with a fully illustrated manual that shows them how to put it together and the science behind it. It also can be used to build a further six models including a mechanical arm, a car, octopus, insect, window cleaning device and vacuum holder.

Things We Didn’t Like about It
This is a cool toy. Who wouldn’t like a wall crawling robot lizard? If we have anything negative to say maybe we would have liked it to be more gecko looking than robot looking but, hey, we’re just trying to find fault here and there is nothing really wrong with it at all!

Is the Geckobot worth the money?
The Geckobot matched with the right child is certainly going to be worth the money; they can have a lot of fun with it and learn some cool facts as well. If you child has no interest in building things or Science, then this might be a waste.

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Where can I buy it?
The Geckobot is available now and you can buy it online. We’d suggest checking Amazon to see if it is available there as they are a trusted and competitively priced retailer.

Final Thoughts
This is something a bit different and will appeal to a lot of kids. The ability to build it and play with it and then modify it to make different models justifies the price tag.

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Anki Cozmo Robot Toy

Our prediction is that this will be one of the biggest tech toys for 2016, Christmas and probably 2017! Anki, who up to now is known for their smartphone guided Overdrive car racing sets, have pushed the boundaries of consumer robotics and AI with Cosmo.
They describe the Cozmo Robot as like having a robot from a movie [think Wall-E] in your own home.

The robot is vehicle shaped like a mini bulldozer and is operated by use of a smartphone. When it is delivered it will come with the robot, a charger, and three power blocks that are used for game play and interaction with the robot.

How Much?
When it is released in mid-October it will be priced at $180.

Who Would Buy It?
Anki recommend Cozmo for 8 years old and up. We think it will appeal to most kids and adults who are interested in cutting edge tech toys. It will also appeal to anyone interested in robotics and AI intelligence.

Things We Like About Cosmo
There is so much to like about this gadget, actually calling Cozmo a gadget would be doing him an injustice.
First, it has facial recognition built in so it recognizes you when it wakes up from its charger. While it is charging, Cozmo snores as well!The thing is that Cozmo has so many fun features that we don’t know where to start. What we really like about him [we reckon it’s a boy robot, you may disagree!] is that he really seems like a pet or young child and you will start to feel emotionally connected to him. He explores and sulks if you don’t give him enough attention. He plays games with you and remembers the ones you like.
The more you interact with him the more different emotions he shows and as you play games, new ones unlock.
Your information is secure and is never shared. Cozmo uses a local device-to-device connection so your details can’t be accessed.

Things We Did Not Like About Cosmo
Cozmo is very small – Anki has not hidden this fact; they actually describe the robot vehicle as palm size. The good thing about this is that Cozmo is easily portable so it can be transported with ease.

Is It Worth The Money?
If you or your kids are into tech gadgets this is going to be a must have on your list and you are going to be full of envy once you see others using it. For amateur robotics engineers they will think they have died and gone to heaven with this A1 robot.
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Where Can I Buy It?
This item will be released on October 16, 2016 but you can pre-order it now from Amazon. Apparently pre-orders will get the device two days before it arrives in the shops. Currently Amazon  offers a discount if you pre-order now, but double check this to make sure it still applies.

Final Thoughts
Because this is an app-based robot it will be constantly updated with new features so this has plenty of longevity. It won’t be a gadget that is left to gather dust. For those interested in robotics or budding game developers, Cozmo will be on their Must Have List. Anki has rigorously tested Cozmo and this robot is likely to revolutionize home consumer robotics.

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WowWee MiPosaur Track Ball

Some toys are just so much fun that kids hate to stop playing with them. The WowWee MiPosaur Track Ball is one of those toys and it’s so fun. It’s like having a robotic dinosaur and a virtual prehistoric pet all rolled into one. This is recommended for ages 8-15.
The intelligent capability of the toy is nothing short of amazing and kids are going to want this dino bot. He can recognize the different ways that kids communicate with him.
He balances his body using two wheels on the back and he follows the trackball on the front. The trackball is what kids will use to begin the different modes that feature what the Miposaur is able to do.
The MiPosaur can interact with kids and obey their commands whether they’re given by gesture, through the TrackBall, or by using the app. Because the creature has a mind of his own, he does have a personality that will allow him to display moods.
So don’t be surprised if you give him a command and he has a bit of an attitude about it. Kids can play with the creature, train him and engage in games, too. The three ways that kids can engage with the toy are with the app, using their hand or having the toy follow the TrackBall.
When kids use hand gestures, the Miposaur will respond based on his mood. So how he reacts in one instance won’t necessarily be the same the next time a child does the same hand gesture.
He can react with excitement or he might show curiosity about what you’re doing. Sometimes, he won’t be too thrilled with the gesture and will clearly show that he’s annoyed.
There are 10 commands he’ll follow in this mode. If kids use the TrackBall with the pet, he’ll follow it around thanks to the BeaconSense technology in the ball. There are 6 game modes that can be used with the TrackBall.
These are going for a walk, fetching an object, dino in the middle, feeding time and dancing. Kids can also us the MiPosaur app to interact with the dinosaur. By using the app, kids can move the MiPosaur around, or take care of him when he’s hungry by giving him various things to eat – including prehistoric men.
They can cause the creature to fight against other MiPosaurs or dance along with the music that’s played. Kids can also create a trail for the creature to follow. If they do choose to use the path tracing, you need to make sure you have a compatible device such as an iOS or Android. You will need both AA and AAA batteries and these are not included with the purchase.
Suzanne

Star Wars R2-D2 Interactive Robotic Droid

Star Wars spawned an era of great heroes, memorable villains and created die-hard fans. Items based on the movie characters are always in high demand and that includes the Star Wars R2-D2 Interactive Robotic Droid.
This has to be the ultimate personal buy or gift for any fan. This little droid is a replica of R2-D2 and is loaded with the ability to interact with humans. It can obey what you tell it to do and has some clever sayings as well.
When you’re ready to interact with the droid, all you have to do to get him to listen to you is call the character’s name. There are over 40 different voice instructions that the droid can be commanded to do.
One way that you can engage with the droid is to quiz R2-D2 about the characters that he knows. If R2 likes the character, he’ll respond in the positive and if he doesn’t like the character you ask him about, he’ll let you know.
You can put him in the game mode and there are a lot of different functions that he can do. He can dance around or share some tunes with you. He’ll spin around, play games and even act as a lookout for you with his alarm warning sound.
He can even hold a beverage for you. You can command the droid to go in the direction that you want him to go in to navigate him such as by saying things like “Turn right” or other directions.
The droid has the ability to move without help from his human and can light up the beam on the front of his body. When you understand how to give him the right commands, you’ll be rewarded with a message.
He even shares messages from the movies. There is a little bit that you have to do to put him together when he arrives, but it’s not too detailed. You’ll get the body of the droid, his legs, the projector part, the sensory telescope, and the instruction book.
When assembled, the droid stands just over 15 inches in height. He has a hidden compartment, a sensor scope, microphones and even a feature that will let you know what his mood is.
The droid navigates using sonar technology coupled with location sensors. The droid does run on batteries – and since those don’t come with the purchase, you’ll have to buy some.
The droid should not be operated outside. Adults and kids alike both love this R2 D2 droid and if you get it for your kids, you should get it for ones who are 8 or older.
Suzanne

Anki Overdrive

There are racing cars and then there are Supercars that own the track. That’s what Anki Overdrive is. Long gone are the days when you simply run a car across a racetrack trying to be faster than your opponent.
Not so with this. Anki Overdrive has the cars that allow you to disable the car you’re racing against. It’s a little like using the cars in an epic battle of laser tag. These futuristic cars race around tracks that are more than just tracks. By the way, this is recommended for ages 8-15.
They’re battlefields – and only the most cunning players will taste the victory. There are different game modes you can play and you can customize your car so that’s a personal battle of one on one.
You can decide how fast the car goes and the weapons that it will use to defend itself. It’s easy to get started battling it out. You have to decide which battlefield of the eight that you want to use and construct it.
Some of the top contenders are the Overpass, the Loopback and the Wedge. When you’re done setting up the track, then you download the Anki Overdrive app and you’re ready to make the road your own.
Each of the sets come with two of the Supercars, a variety of track pieces, both straight and curved, as well as two risers, the charging piece, and a tire cleaner. You can add to the sets.
The cars that you get in the set are the Groundshock and Skull and what’s really cool about these cars is that they’re the ones that can make decisions about racing and defending themselves to beat the other car.
There are many variations on how you can play the game so that no battle is ever the same as the one before. The cars themselves are quite awesome to see in action. Groundshock can make the track electrified which creates lightning to be able to disable the opponent.
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It does this through electropulse. These electric blasts make it a top challenger on any of the track designs. Skull is made for speed and has a cannon that can stop an opponent in his tracks.
He comes ready to play to win. The plasma cannon shoots energy toward the other car and if it hits it, the car explodes. You can choose to upgrade variations with the cars when it comes to the speed and the weapons that they use.
These virtual weapons the cars use can be quite cunning as they work to create chaos for their opponents. When you buy this set, you will have to have a mobile device that’s compatible such as an iOS or Android. If you use the mobile devices for the battles, you have to have WiFi.
Happy Racing!
Suzanne
P.S. You might also want to check out the Anki Drive Starter Kit Smart Robot Car Racing Game. This includes 2 physical robot cars and the starter track.

HoverTech Battle FX

There are toys that kids can play with and then after a couple of times, the fun’s pretty much gone. There’s nothing new with the toy and no kind of challenge to keep the excitement up.
Thankfully, that’s not the case with all of the toys. Take the HoverTech Battle FX for example. This toy is one that offers up something new every single time kids play with it. And it’s so challenging that kids will find themselves competing to improve their skill level each time that send it up into the air.
This toy is unique in that it’s played up in the air and while it’s moving. Kids can start it up and the hovercraft lifts off into the air, never staying still – so when kids play it, it can be a challenge to be able to correctly guess where it’s going to go next.
The game is based on a target challenge and with the HoverTech, it’s going to take a lot of patience and a lot of know-how to be able to be the best in this game. Each time the game is played, the flying course can change so it’s up to the player to learn how to anticipate and take the correct aim.
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One of the many reasons that kids are clamoring to get this toy is because it’s based on an arcade type of play. Kids have to try to bring down this electronic target by carefully blasting it down.
Since the target is electronic, it’s like it has a mind of its own. Based on cutting edge technology, the HoverTech Battle FX can tell when a dart is headed its way. And it’s not going to stay still and just let someone score a direct hit.
Instead, the HoverTech has sensors that can tell it when it needs to move out of range. It can zip to the side, spin around and actually dodge the darts. This toy will be the toughest challenge of accuracy that kids will face.
It’s going to take practice to be the best of the best to be able to knock the craft out of the air. The toy has three modes that you can choose from so you can constantly attempt to improve your game play.
The more you play, the better at it that you’ll get. It’s kid against machine in this game. When you buy this toy, you’ll get the flying target, the charging station, two of the blasters and six of the darts. It’s a great game to play along or with friends. It’s suitable for ages 8-15.
Suzanne

Marvel RC Hulk Smash

If there’s one thing that kids love to play with, it’s vehicles of all shapes and sizes. They also love to use their imagination to create scenes involving their favorite heroes. With the Marvel RC Hulk Smash vehicle, they get the two combined.
It’s a vehicle – but it also has one of the Marvel heroes on top of it. That makes this vehicle a one of a kind that kids will never get tired of playing with. The Hulk sits on top of the car with his massive upper body strength on display.
He has his brow furrowed and his lips pulled back into a snarl. His oversized, muscular arms hang down on either side of the vehicle to wheel level. He can use his arms to smash anything that tries to stop him from completing whatever it is that he sets out to do.
He uses also uses his arms to make the vehicle move around in any direction. When he puts his arms back behind him, the vehicle’s front tires can lift up off the ground to show off a wheelie.
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The upper body strength that the Hulk has is what can save him in any imaginative play situation. If the vehicle gets flipped over so that the hero is under it, the Hulk can fix that because he can turn the vehicle right side up again without effort at all.
Kids can use the remote control to drive the vehicle drive straight into any hard, immovable object and the Hulk will turn the car around to keep on going. Nothing slows him down.
The Hulk can do the tornado spin, which takes care of anything that’s in his reach. He’ll knock it right out of the way. He goes so fast when he’s spinning around that it’s amazing.
Although his arms are long enough to touch the ground, you don’t have to keep his arms that way. There are other actions he’s capable of doing. His arms can move into eight positions, which enable him to do so much more.
His arms are even strong enough to hold a real basketball. He can drive, he can spin, he can smash and keep on. The remote control joystick is what operates the vehicle. The hero has 10 different phrases and sounds that are uniquely his that he can say.
The vehicle can be used to ride around or through any obstacle course you set up or he can move anything out of the pathway of the vehicle. This toy is suitable for kids who are 4 and older. The toy does require batteries but these are included when you buy the toy.
Suzanne

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Toys List for Christmas 2015

Toys R Us Fabulous 15 Toys List for Christmas 2015
Below I’ve included the 15 toys Toys R Us calls the fabulous toys for Christmas 2015. If you click on the highlighted link, it will take you to my blog article on that toy where you will find much more information about it.
1. Doc McStuffins Take Care of Me Lambie is an interactive, educational toy that is suitable for children who are 3 years old and up. Not only is it adorable but since it has more than 50 interactive responses, your child will have hours of fun engaging with it.
2. Some interactive toys are pretty much like the next one, but not the Fisher-Price Bear Smart Toy. This toy is different in many ways. Rather than you having to switch toys as your child grows in learning and age, the toy itself will change as your child does.
3. A great toy for a child between the ages of 9 months and 3 years old is the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo. This toy is an animatronic friend that not only promotes physical activity, but is a learning tool as well.
4. There are plenty of fun toys for kids who love dolls and the Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse is one of them. There are tons of adventures just waiting for Barbie and her beautiful horse to enjoy.
5. Little Live Pets Clever Keet is just like a real parakeet but without the mess a bird makes or the responsibility it takes to care for one. This toy is an interactive toy that will delight your child.
6. Shopkins Fashion Boutique Playset – Kids will have loads of fun on their shopping spree when they’re playing with the Shopkins Fashion Boutique Playset. These playsets use characters that are made just for the playsets.
7. Journey Girls 2015 Italy Holiday Doll – For those who like to collect dolls or use them in holiday displays, getting the Journey Girls 2015 Italy Holiday Doll is a must have purchase. This doll is part of an exclusive collection of other dolls in the series.
8. Paw Patrol Paw Patroller – The adventures of the Paw Patrol series are led by Ryker, the boy who helps the brave rescue dogs on their many different missions. This toy is a rescue vehicle that can be used to carry three of the different Paw Patrol vehicles at once and the side of it can be closed when not in use.
9.  Fisher Price Imaginext Ultra T Rex – This toy is unique in that it allows kids to direct the adventure with the use of the Power Pads. By using these Pads, kids can control the T-Rex and they’ll easily be entertained with all of the lights, sounds and actions.
10. Star Wars BladeBuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber – As legions of Star Wars fans know, the Lightsabers are more than mere toys. They’re adventures that can be held in the hand. With each new Star Wars related toy item, creating the iconic world with the epic battle between good and evil becomes even more realistic.
11. LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack – Kids can use their imagination to lead them through the adventure to restore everything back to right in the LEGO world. They’ll have an array of minifigures they can use combined in one video game.
12.  Star Wars R2-D2 Interactive Robotic Droid – This has to be the ultimate personal buy or gift for any Star Wars fan. This little droid is a replica of R2-D2 and is loaded with the ability to interact with humans.
13. NERF N Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster – With this blaster, users can now create their own blaster the way that they want it and one that’s suitable for the gameplay that they engage in.  This blaster gives users the ability to make over 30 different combinations so playing to win has never been easier.
14. Meccano MeccaNoid Personal Robot – This robot is affordable and comes with a lot of great features that make this one of the most in demand robots on the market. The robot has the ability to recognize voice commands.
15. Guitar Hero Live – Inside many people, there’s a rock star just waiting to be set free. Now you can do that with Guitar Hero Live. This is the game like you’ve never seen it before with cutting edge brand new modes and a guitar controller that’s made to be played.
I hope this blog post was helpful for you. Please feel free to comment below or share, email or tweet this blog post to your friends who are searching for great toys for their kids!
Suzanne

Meccano MeccaNoid Personal Robot

You may have seen movies with awesome robots that had the ability to do so many different things and thought how much you’d like to have one. Now you can with the Meccano MeccaNoid Personal Robot.
This robot is affordable and comes with a lot of great features that make this one of the most in demand robots on the market. The robot has the ability to recognize voice commands.
It’s already programmed to answer over 100 different commands that the user might give it. For example, you can tell it to step back, move to the left, or walk forward.
And there’s no reason why you have to limit the different commands that you give the robot. It has the ability to be programmed to understand an endless amount of commands.
The robot has a sharp and fun way of communicating. It can talk to you using the different words and some of the over 1,000 phrases that it already knows. It can crack a joke for you or share some facts with you.
The robot won’t just sit around waiting for you to give it a command, either. The MeccaNoid is smart enough to be able to ask you questions. Even if you’re not talking, the robot knows how to open up the lines of communication.
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You can engage in games with the robot. It’s personal, too – and can recall the names that you share with it as well as birthdays. One of the features that users love is that the robot has LIM or Learned Intelligent Movement along with Motion Capture.
What this feature means is that you can put movements into the robot along with sounds and then the robot can perform them when you press a button. You can choose to take the robot through some motions such as turning its head or raising its arm.
You can then program the robot so that it copies what you just did. You can get the robot to repeat movements when you use a smartphone camera. All you have to do is put the camera on the robot’s chest and it will capture the motions and repeat them.
There’s an app you can use to make the robot move with just a touch of your finger on your smartphone. This Meccanoid app is a free download for users who purchase the robot.
You can have a lot of fun guiding the robot around just with your smartphone. You can amaze your family and friends at what your personal robot has the ability to do.
There are many different forms that you can use to build your robot. You can make it look like a robot or a dog or a dinosaur or even create something of your own choosing.
Suzanne