First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Extremely cute, lots of doggy functions
- Optical sensors are a bit buggy
A fun addition to any household, the automatic mode really makes it a lively toy to have. Great fun
Price$ 124.95 (AUD)
The Robopet is the third in WowWee's animated robot series, and it is by far the smallest. The miniature canine is about the size of a large shoe, but don't be fooled by his diminutive size, the Robopet offers a ton of fun functionality, and makes a great effort at replicating a regular pet.
The best part about the Robopet is the movement, which is light years ahead of the other two products. The Pet actually moves at a reasonable pace, and can cover ground quickly. Turning is still a bit of a hassle, the pet must rotate on the spot, rather than actually walking diagonally; but it was relatively easy to send the pet where you needed him.
The controls aren't quite as intuitive as previous models, thanks to the remote-control style controller. Arrows keys are used to control movement, but tricks and other functions utilise a queuing system, whereby a number of key presses corresponds to a specific action with a separate button is used to execute the command. It takes a little getting used to at first, but once you've got the hang of it, it doesn't take too long to set up commands.
The array of tricks at the Pet's disposal is quite impressive, and suitably doggy, with options to roll over, sit, scratch, and even relieve himself on any poor passer-by foolish enough to get too close. The sky is the limit. He even has a similar functionality to the RoboSapien, in that he can right himself if knocked over.
What really gives the Robopet character however is his automatic mode. When left unattended, he will wander around, exploring his environment and performing random tricks. By hitting the good dog and bad dog buttons as he does these tricks, you can train him to perform the way you want. It is brilliant fun just letting him go off on his own and seeing what he chooses to do. You can even program him to perform a specific set of functions in order. Put on a show for all your friends!
There is also a guard mode, where he will sit silently, and use his optical sensors to detect movement. When he spots something, he jumps up and makes a lot of noise. It may not scare away a burglar face to face, but it may send your younger brother or sister running.
Unfortunately we found the optical sensors came up a little lacking. The manual claims that the Pet has optical and edges sensors, that stop it running into things and off table edges. We found they did neither however. We repeatedly made the Pet run off the edge of our desks, and he got stuck on doors numerous times. The Robosapien seemed to have little trouble with such things, but then again he is an all powerful robot and the Pet is a lowly dog.
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