Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Xtrem Bots - Smart Bot

Having been to Blog On Xmas, I'm now feeling all festive even though Christmas isn't here for another 2 months! It was really Christmassy at the brands den (it looked like a Christmas Market!), where all the Christmas gift worthy toys and gadgets (plus more!) were being showcased.

One of the toy that caught my eyes was Xtrem Bots - Smart Bot by Trends UK. It looked smart and the icy blue and white colours stood out from the rest. The lovely PR has kindly let me take him home to review, which I was going to include in the Christmas Gifts Guide that I'm working on this month, but both the kids and I agree that he deserves an individual post as well, so here it is.

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

Remote controlled Xtrem Bot - Smart Bot (Amazon UK £29.99, suitable for 5 years +) comes with Smart Bot fitted with Li-Po 600mAh rechargeable battery, USB charging cable, remote control (2 x AA batteries not included) and an instruction guide.

It takes approximately 2 hours to charge for approximately 3 hours play. The kids have been playing with him (Clay named him Simon!) on and off for the past 5 days without a recharge needed yet.

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

Smart Bot (approximately 10.5 inches tall), as mentioned above, looks very smart with the metallic blue and silver against the white. Clay has definitely fallen in love with him and has been checking on him every day for 7 days before I took him out of the box. He's been playing with Simon and Steve (the foam block that was part of another toy's packaging) daily ever since, whether with him being turned on or off.

Simon has an infrared sensor in the middle of his chest that allows him to sense hand gesture, an on/ off button under it and a standby button above it. On the back of his left shoulder is the charging port that comes with a light indicator, which lights up in red when it's being charged.

There is this handle thing on his back as well but we couldn't figure out what it's for. The kids suggested that it's for hanging him on a backpack, what do you think?

Simon can also show expressions with his eyes, and our favourite is when his eyes turned into the smiling curves!

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

The remote control looks a bit complicated initially but it's very easy to use. The left wheel of buttons control Simon's walking direction and speed, and the right wheel of buttons control his gliding direction and speed. He also has 4 sound buttons (such as a fire engine and police car siren. Each sound also comes with a sequence of actions) on both side of the volume buttons.

The middle 6 buttons, from top left to bottom right are:

  • Demo - shows a range of things he can do (see video below)
  • Program - which allows you to program up to 50 actions in a sequence so he can do them all at once
  • Speech - will get him talking. A lot (see video below)
  • Dance - Simon will play music and do a sequence of dance moves. There are a few different tunes he will dance with, just press the button again to change (see a demo in the video below)
  • Stop - stops him from whatever he was doing, and he'll be waiting for your signal
  • Gesture Control - when this is pressed, Simon will sense your gestures and move accordingly. The instruction is included in the guide (see the video below for a quick demo)

When he's not being interacted with for a few minutes, Simon will go back to standby to reserve battery.

smart robot toy for kids, Xtrem Bots Smart Bot, dancing and talking robot

When Abby first met Simon, she wasn't showing too much interest. But as soon as we got him up and running, she really liked him and unlike other robot toys we used to have that she only played with for a very short time, she still plays with him.

I think one of the reason is because Simon already knows all the things he can do, so the kids doesn't have to wait until he has learned something new before they can play it with him. Abby does like to give him commands though and program him to do all sorts of things (that's the reason why we know that he can't do more than 50 actions in a sequence!). It gives them a taste of choreography!

Another thing is that, although gesture control is very clever and is most likely the future, the kids aren't really interested in using it to interact with the robot toys at the moment. So it's a good thing that gesture control is only one of the feature the kids can explore, rather than the main one to use to interact with Simon. I think it's great to be able to use both ways to interact with Simon, so that when they are taking a break from wondering where their hands should be to make him do things, they can still play using the remote controller.

Xtrem Bot - Smart Bot is definitely one of the better robot toy we have seen. It's robust, looks great, perfect size for younger kids, can do plenty and can be played switched on or off. Its bigger brother Trooper Bot (bigger, over 20 functions and can shoot suction darts) has won Blog On (Creative) Toy Awards 1st prize, and although we haven't played with him, I'm sure Smart Bot would be just as popular (he's the smart one after all!).