Category Archives: Technology

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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Air Hogs Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone

To coincide with the release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th Anniversary of the original TV Series Air Hogs has launched the first Star Trek Enterprise Flying Drone. The drone is based on the NCC-1701-A which is the Enterprise from the movies rather than TV Show.

How Much?
This Star Trek Enterprise Drone has a recommended retail price of $130.

Who Would Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
The recommended age for this product is 10+. Being the first ever version of the Enterprise that actually flies this will be a must buy for Star Trek fans. Kids who are just starting to discover Star Trek through the new movies might also be interested in this. For the serious Drone enthusiast this probably isn’t on their radar though some might be interested in the unique design which differentiates it from the typical drones available on the market.

Things We Like About Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone
A lot of thought has gone into this model to make it look authentic. It has 10 different light and sound functions including a phaser and warp factor sound. Even though it is longer and sleeker looking than the usual quadcopter, it is still based on the same principles, but to get the Star Trek look they have hidden the spinning propellers in the main saucer section of the Enterprise. Though it doesn’t look particularly durable, users are saying that they have crashed it a number of times with no damage.

Things We Didn’t Like About It
If you haven’t used a quadcopter or drone before it might take some time to get used to the controls and will probably result in a few crashes. We would suggest limiting your flying to indoor use at first before venturing outdoors with it. Some reviewers are speculating that it will become a collector’s item so you might want to keep it in nice condition just in case.

Is The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone Worth The Money?
The $130 price tag is fairly expensive for a quadcopter. You can get drones with built-in cameras that work well for the same price. What you are paying for here is the unique Star Trek design and maybe a quadcopter that will become a collector’s item in the future. It also makes a nice display piece. For Star Trek fans or Drone Collectors I don’t see the cost being an issue.

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Where Can I Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
Spin Master and their flying RC vehicle Air Hogs range is available in most Toy Shops, collectors and RC Stores as well as big online stores such as Amazon. Amazon is always worth taking a look as you can read the most up-to-date reviews from genuine users.

Final Thoughts
If you are a serious Trekkie the likelihood is that your mind is going to already be made up regarding the purchase of this Star Trek Enterprise Quadcopter. Those interested in TV collectibles might want to speculate and pick this up as a collector’s item. We think that Air Hogs have got the design spot on. To see your own real life miniature version of the Starship U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701A cruising through the air boldly going where no man has gone before is just amazing!

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Scalextric ARC One

Plenty of kids know the thrill of playing with slot cars. Racing them around the track for fun or in competition to try and beat your opponent was a great way to spend a few hours having fun.
But Scalextric has changed the game so that the cars use modern technology to up the stakes when it comes to racing. What Scalextric has done is to take the benefit of the classic racing and mix it up with technology to increase the functionality of the cars and the fun of the game.
You can get different sets and they each offer different features. Some of the features are the same throughout – such as being able to race against an opponent, getting to keep up with the times of the laps, battling it out in tournaments and even holding a drag race event or two.
Technology makes it all possible and by combing the technology of Bluetooth with the fun of racing cars, Scalextric created a game that can work with your smartphone.
There are no more guessing games with the races once you situate your phone in the holder the racetrack has. Kids no longer have to guess when it’s time to set off from the starting line and there’s no figuring out if one player jumped the gun.
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The app will let the drivers know when it’s time to take off for the laps and at the end of the game, it tallies the score to show you which car came in first. The speeds are accounted for and each aspect of the race is covered so that kids get to view it once the race is over.
Just like running cars at a real racetrack, the game adds an element of reality here by offering pit stops. The cars will be notified when they need to come in to get the once over and if they don’t listen up, they’ll get the penalty for not listening to the notice to come in.
The pit stops can cover things like a tire puncture or engine trouble, fuel or more. The app will clock the time the race began and has the feature that will shut down the power if a car ends up off the track.
There’s also a jump start penalty, the option to change drivers, and a lap counter as well as a qualifying laps. The cars can race neck and neck or kids can employ whatever driving decision they want that they think will make them take first place.
The app you use with the system will give you the racing modes, the setting and more. You do get hand throttles, but some of the sets do offer wireless play. The cars from one set are compatible with the cars from another Scalextric set, including the older models. The set is for use with Apple or Android phones.
Have fun,
Suzanne

Parrot MiniDrones Jumping Sumo

If you’re into technology, then you know that the latest rage right now is drones. You can find a ton of different drones available but you’ll be hard pressed to find one as cool and exciting as the Parrot MiniDrones Jumping Sumo.
That’s because this drone reved it up a notch with what it’s capable of doing and this one makes many of the hot toy lists. This is a light up drone so it can maneuver in dark places in the house such as under furniture or with the lights off.
It’s fun to use at night outside as well as during the day. It’s light up so it can easily be seen from a distance, too. The LED lights shine on anything in its path – plus, it has a camera so you can see where it’s going.
The camera can stream video so kids can watch replays. And it’s built for speed with a top of the line motor. Plus, the body is durable and can withstand tough play and situations. Not only does the Jumping Sumo have the corner on how fast it can travel but this one is unique in that it has the ability to jump.
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Not just small little heights, either. This drone has the ability to leap a mind blowing 2.5 feet up into the air. You can send it flying up over objects and it’s amazing to watch it go.
The back wheels are super large, which help the drone keep its balance – but the wheels also give it the ability to keep that faster speed that leaves other drones sitting still.
This makes it difficult to beat in a race with the width coupled with the traction ability. The drone is tough and agile too with the ability to make 90 and 180 degree turns with ease.
There are app controls that kids can use to have the drone make whatever movements they want it to make. Plus, the drone can move forward and backward or leap.
You do have to have access to Wi-Fi to be able to use the drone and it is compatible with smartphone and tablet devices. The drone operates using the menu and it has the capability of being able to communicate from about 50 meters away. The set comes with the drone, a battery, the USB cable, stickers for customization, and a quick start guide.
Suzanne

LEGO Dimensions

LEGO just keeps on producing toys that kids love and the LEGO Dimensions is one of the sets that you can bet will be on every kid’s wish list. The Dimensions set of these toys was created not long after the release of The LEGO Movie.
The movie was such a hit that toys were needed to allow kids to be more interactive in a virtual world as well as still have the feel of the original LEGO play. This one is part real play and part computer game.
The fun begins thanks to the portal or vortex that swept away some of the well known characters. These heroes were drawn into another dimension where they had to fight for what was right and defeat evil villains who wanted to run the show.
The set is an endless time of adventure and imagination as kids travel through the different worlds to assist the heroes in making sure that order is once again restored. With each of the different sets that are available, kids will be given different minifigures.
These minifigures are exclusive to one set but they can all be used in combination with other minifigures. And what one minifigure has another one can use in a different world. For example, if one minifigure hero has a vehicle that he uses, in the Dimensions world, another hero can also use that vehicle.
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The Dimensions sets are the most interactive LEGO creation so far and there are limitless ways that a child can create different missions and adventures. Whatever his imagination likes is how he can link the different heroes on teams or as individuals.
There are several different sets that are suitable for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U and PlayStation 4. Each of these sets have different minifigures and different tools and vehicles.
If your child doesn’t have any of the LEGO Dimensions yet, you’ll want to start with the starter pack. This is the portal that allows the physical minifigures your child has to enter the game.
While this is a computer game, it’s much more than that. It’s also a great learning tool because kids will have to use their thinking skills to solve the way around obstacles to achieve the character’s goal.
LEGO offers a ton of different characters, so your child can start out with his or her favorite. You can get ones like DC ComicsBatman or Lord of the Rings characters. Each of these sets is compatible with the other, so you’ll be able to expand both the characters and the fun that your child can have.
Happy Gaming!
Suzanne

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

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.

Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar

Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar

When training your four-legged friend, the Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar is a high-tech helper that will make it much easier to accomplish.  This comprises of a collar with a GPS tracking device and stimulator plus a remote control that operates it.

You can set the trainer to have three different actions that signal your dog.  You can have electric stimulation, a specific tone, or even some sort of vibration.  You’ll only need one hand to operate this simple three-button remote.

You can use the LCD display on the remote to figure out which settings you want, and you can even program the remote to have different settings for different dogs that you’re working to train.

No matter what the breed or coat thickness of your dog, this device can be configured to work well.  And the remote will work from as far away as half a mile.  This collar will help you train your dog for its own health and safety as well as the safety of others.

Many dogs are very smart, but also need strict discipline.  This collar allows you to safely set limits for your dog and eliminates the need for more harmful choke chains and harnesses that allow no control.

You can control the charge on the remote so that you give a gentle sensation or something stronger for dogs that have thicker coats.  And you can use the vibration or tone for dogs that are sensitive to those signals.

For some dogs, it just takes a little change in stimulation in order to break their mindset and help them become calm.  If you have a dog that is constantly barking, this collar can help you keep him from becoming too loud.

You can also use the collar to help train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling.  Others use it for more intense training – in preparation for hunting or agility competitions.  Whatever your needs, this system will be able to provide you with some help in the training process.

The battery life for this unit is impressive. You can use it for weeks before it needs to be recharged.  Recharging is simple with the enclosed charging cord.  The collar is also water resistant, so it can handle the various environments that a dog might find himself in.

The Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar is a great choice for helping to train your family’s beloved pet.

Happy Dog Training,
Suzanne