One of the good thing about living in the future is that we get to play with robots. And not super expensive, mecha toys, but robots that can be had for £20 and change.
I’m talking of course about the Yo!Bot – a tiny tank-like robot that carts your smartphone around like some sort of butler. At only £21 it’s a fun novelty – although the price doesn’t include the price of a smartphone and a tablet/laptop to do all the heavy lifting. Or the 3 AA batteries, which are not included.
Yo!Bot works by slotting your iOS or Android smartphone into the top of the tank, firing up an app on a laptop or tablet and sending the little guy whirring around your carpet. To connect the Yo!Bot to your smartphone you simply need to get the free app running and to be on the same network as the laptop/tablet. It’s very easy and makes getting things up and running fast and pain free.
Control can be a little sensitive at first, but once you calibrate the settings you can get a degree of finesse. I wouldn’t try any open heart surgery or bomb disposal, but it’s easy enough to bob and weave between the 8 traffic cones supplied.
The most fun I had with Yo!Bot was being able to stream the bot’s field of vision to my tablet – you can use the front or rear iPhone cameras and I chose to attach a number of olloclip lenses for an enjoyable fish eye ride around my living room floor. You can change the quality of the image to suit your connection but the “HD” images certainly look reasonably sharp and don’t have any serious lag. It’s a shame you can’t record some of the streams as you could create some interesting footage – although one of the beauties of app-enhanced toys such as this is that a future upgrade could bring such functionality.
Yo!Bot is available from www.geniegadgets.com for £20.95 from this week.