As much as I admire the technology inside Wow Wee's latest, the Roboquad, there's something about a scuttling spider-robot that freaks me out. Perhaps it's partly to do with the degree of AI that makes him inquisitive all of his own accord. Using the supplied remote control would be one thing, but having it suddenly dash out from under a chair would be quite another! Anyway, courtesy of our friends over at Robots Rule we've got the first Roboquad commercial:
Leaving aside my fear for a moment, the Roboquad is some pretty impressive technology for just $100. While you can use the 4-layer full-function remote to either cycle through 72 pre-programmed functions or directly control/programme it yourself, the autonomous mode lets the robot rely on its internal light and sound sensors to monitor movement and react appropriately.
If you want a scaredy-cat Roboquad you can ratchet up the Awareness behaviour control, whereas if you want to upset children you can increase the Activity and Aggressiveness values. That, together with preset reactions like running from sudden movement and identifying open spaces to move to, should give it some longevity.
The Roboquad is available to preorder from multiple retailers both in the US and the UK. Availability is estimated at 11th August.