WowWee Roborover Review

That's right... the Roborover is now in stores inside the USA and can be found at Toys-R-Us, and soon at Target. The first sighting that I heard of was in California so I went the next day to check out the rumor here in Jacksonville, FL at one of our many Toys-R-Us stores. This was a bust so I checked out the web site and nothing their either not even a coming soon ad.  I waited for a few more days before returning to our largest store here and... YES!!! There he was sitting among all the R/C toys. 

I returned to the store when I was ready to buy, but to my dismay, he was not where I found him a few days earlier! With my tail between my legs, and head hanging low, I asked a store clerk for help (you know how hard this is to do, guys!) The kind lady told me that they had moved them around and placed them on the back wall, and she led me right to him.  I had walked right pass him at least 10 times and it gets better, he was at eye level and on the same shelf as the Crash FX and the LightStar was which I was checking out the Crash FX when I got there. Now that's a kick in the pants for ya!

During checkout the clerk asked me if I wanted to purchase a warranty for him. I ask the clerk "For what? I'm just going to rip him down anyways and make a few mods to him, which will void the warranty anyways". And for all the hackers out here you know what I mean. You should have seen the clerk's eyes almost pop out of her head when I said that!

Getting Roborover Home

The first thing to do with Roborover is, of course, install his batteries after removing him out of the box. The Roborover holds 4 C batteries underneath him and 3 AAA batteries in his remote. The location and directions are on the bottom of the box and also in the manual. Box bottom is shown below.

His on button is on his right lower back of his track. Once turned on, he will introduce himself and may give you some tips on what he can do. Roborover is an explorer robot and very curious about his surroundings.

Without even touching the remote, he will start moving around on his own; of course, you can stop him by pressing the stop button on the remote.  However, that's not all that the stop button can do.  By pressing and holding the stop button for about 2 seconds you will hear his volume lower and if you continue to hold the button down it will lower again then back to high.  So yes, he does have a 3 mode volume control which I have only seen before on the RoboQuad.  His voice is very similar to the Tri-Bot's voice, sounding like a young child that is eager to play and explore.

His arms are posable to some degree, rising up and down. The waist is also the same way. His head is animated by a push rod that runs down to his track base and a motor and connected to a gear system that will move it right and left, and the face with those large eyes light up green along with his smile when he talks.

There is a new feature on the remote that the other robots do not have, and that is a trim dial used to correct his forward movements.

The seek function, or "follow me" button, is also back on the remote. A lot of people enjoyed using that function on the older robots.

Another new function that I like is his headlight. Just press the button on the remote and use his search light to drive in the dark, as if you were in a dark cave exploring! Remember: the Roborover is an explorer, so let your mind take you to another place away from the city life and find new treasures whereever you go!

Now let's look at all the functions the Roborover has. I know that I told you some of the features but, let's really list them down in order.

Demo Mode

The Rover has 3 different demo routines all to show you his movements, animations and his personality. Also, he will tell you more about his features and joke around with you. I'll provide you a video of each demo so you can see for yourself!

Note: RoboRover moves around during his demos. Please ensure that his surrounding area is free from obstacles and edges because his IR sensors are turn off during these modes.

Volume Control

Roborover has 3 volume levels: High, Medium and Low. To change the volume, press and hold the STOP button for around 2 seconds. You will then hear when his volume has lowered. If you continue to hold the STOP button the volume will set to low and then back up to high as seen in the previous video.

Controlling Roborover

The Rover has a tread-based traction system, which is made of rubber and will let him move in any direction, turn, and even spin on the spot. Roborover also detects signals from the remote controller regardless of the direction he is facing. Roborover will also prevent you from running into walls if the IR detection beams see it.

Location

You can operate the Roborover indoors, but may encounter difficulty outdoors due to his IR sensors. Also, if you noticed in my videos, I am running outdoors yet I was close enough that he detected the remote's commands without any problems.  At night time, you can turn on the head lights and play outside as long as he does not get wet... water and electronics do NOT play together well!

Driving Control

When the Roborover drives around he will detect and avoid obstacles in his range which is around 8 to 12 inches.  These sensors are also on, even if you are driving him, so go ahead and try to ram him into that wall straight on or backing up into it.Laughing

To control him, just use the direction pad on your remote controller. When driving him from behind, left is left and right is right but remember when he is facing you left on the controller is still turning him on HIS left but your right.  It's just like watching him move in a mirror.

Roborover can also drive over small obstacles as well, but try to keep it no higher than 1 inch in height.  I was able to clear obstacles of about 2 inches, but your mileage may vary.

Roborover has a new feature that the other robots don't have, and that is a trim dial on his remote. If he does not drive forward straight, you can adjust the trim to three different settings per side. Note: if he drives to the left then just move the dial to the right and the same if he drives to the right move the dial to the left.

 


Fall Detection

Should your Roborover fall forward, he will balance on his treads at the 45 degree angle and continue moving and making comments. However, if he falls backwards while climbing something large, you'll have to pick him up and set him back on his tracks!  Also notice in the video that you cannot make him run forward in this position.

Object Detection

As I stated above, the Roborover's sensors are on while you are driving him around, but if you want to turn them off, this is how you do it: quickly press the Forward button direction twice and hold the button down. This command is only for the Forward driving, I discovered, but the manual does not tell you this.

Seek Function

Yep, it's back... the seek function. This is one function that I've heard around the community that everyone enjoyed in the older WowWee robots.  This Seek function allows Roborover to follow you around or locate where you are. He can still detect and avoid obstacles as he moves. To use this function, just press and hold down the SEEK button on your remote, as he seeks you out he will comment and tell jokes as he goes until he finds you.

Explore Mode

Let your Roborover free to roam around and explore his world.  Once you press the EXPLORE button he will start off and explore and commenting as he goes plus avoiding objects as well. His free will will expire in 3 minutes or when you give him another command. If no command is given, he will enter a standby mode which will be explained later on.

Lookout Mode

Entering the Lookout Mode is easy to do by pressing the LOOKOUT button twice. When he first enters this mode, he will do a long range scan of his environment "front and back" which is around 4 to 6 feet and if there are objects in close range then he will do a short range scan in which is around 12 inches.  If he does not detect anything for 10 minutes, he will exit the Lookout mode and wait for a command. If still after 2 minutes with no replies from his remote he goes into the Standby mode. At any time during the 10 minutes of him being in the Lookout mode, you can press the STOP button for him to exit and then he will tell you if he saw anything.

Standby Mode

If Roborover has no interaction from you for about 2 minutes, he will make a comment and enter his standby mode. To wake him up, just press any button on his remote.

Sleep Mode

After 10 minutes (well, really 12 minutes in all) he will shutdown his power.  In this mode it's different to wake him up than from the Standby mode.  Just press his bumper plate in the front between the treads and below the headlights, or just turn him off and then back on again.

The manual states that if you are done playing with Roborover to turn him off completely. Well, I found that when you do this, he resets his memory and is back to the "shy mode" again. At first, I was powering him down this way and wondering why he wasn't becoming less shy over time. So, I started to just leave him in the Sleep mode and wake him up for another movie shoot or just to fool around with what he can do.

I discovered that by allowing him to "sleep" and not powering him down completely, he retains his memory and learns your playing habits... a VERY COOL feature of this bot.  Of course, if you are planning on putting him into storage for long periods of time, you will want to power him down completely.  That being said, using him in short bursts with the sleep mode, never shutting him down, I have been using the same batteries for over a week with no signs of losing power.

Games

Roborover has two different games, which, in my opinion, are not quite as good as Tri-Bot's games, but still very fun to play and addictive.

Game 1

The Tomb game:

In the game, Roborover will drive a pattern and then ask you to correctly repeat his pattern by using his remote. To win the game, drive him in the same pattern and to help you out; he will give you three tries if you run into the "Tomb Wall," so if you hit the wall three time during your try you will lose. The more you play it, the harder the tomb maze gets. I only got to level 7 until I lost, but I'll keep trying to get higher.

Game 2

The Swamp Game

This game is somewhat the same as the Tomb Game, but with this one you have a time limit to get out of the swamp to win. Once again, he will drive you a maze out of the swamp. As you drive him using the remote he will make comments to you as to whether or not you're driving in the correct direction.  However, if you go too far from his original pattern that he made for you, he will "SINK" into the swamp and then the game will be over. This one is a bit harder but yet fun and really gets your memory working!

Conclusions

I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I had when writing it. I f I left out anything please post a message for me and I'll try to answer it for you, and also rate this review for me if you liked it or not so I can improve these reviews for you when I do them!

I'm also planning on working on taking him apart to show you the inside of Roborover and how he works.  But let me tell you, taking him apart will be a new experience and different from most of the WowWee bots I have played with.

Jax

Comments

Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks for interesting review, GWJax!

Just two questions.
1. Is Roborover NOT PROGRAMMABLE AT ALL (first non-programmable robot from WowWee)? Or you just omitted the programming section?
2. What sensors does it have?

GWJax's picture

Shai Alyt NEMO said:
Thanks for interesting review, GWJax!
Just two questions.
1. Is Roborover NOT PROGRAMMABLE AT ALL (first non-programmable robot from WowWee)? Or you just omitted the programming section?
2. What sensors does it have?

That is correct the Rover is NOT programmable.. As of the sensors it has on his headlights IR sensor and on the back another IR sensor set

IR sensors are in the outside lights.

This is the back IR sensor.

If you have any other questions please ask and thanks for reading the review..

Jax

JR's picture

Does the Roborover work well on any type of carpet or just hard surfaces.

Thanks

JR

GWJax's picture

JR said:
Does the Roborover work well on any type of carpet or just hard surfaces.
Thanks
JR

JR the rover does run on carpet but just a bit slower. My thinking to this is the caster on the back that I would install a rough terrain wheel to help with the movement.

 

Jax

crmfghtr's picture

Great review GW, perhaps your best ever, I'm sold!

GWJax's picture

crmfghtr said:
Great review GW, perhaps your best ever, I'm sold!

Glad you like it crmfghtr!! So are you saying that my other articles are just not up to par with this one..LOL

Let us know when you get one. I know you will love this one even though the draw back is that you can not program it, not even with the roboremote YET.

 

Jax

irispg's picture

Is this too advanced for a mature 4 1/2 year old boy?

GWJax's picture

irispg said:
Is this too advanced for a mature 4 1/2 year old boy?

Not at all!! The Rover would be a great gift for him..

 

Jax

claudine's picture

what is the difference between roborover 8445 and 8405?
thanks for answer

GWJax's picture

claudine said:
what is the difference between roborover 8445 and 8405?
thanks for answer

Color of the Rover I think. All rovers operate the same.

 

Jax

LAC's picture

I was evaluating a type of robot for my kid. He loves them. My only concern with all these types of robots is the battery. How long does it last? Can I use re-cargeable battery?

LAC's picture

I am looking to buy a robot for my kid. But my concern with these type of robots are the quantity of battery it uses. How long does the battery last? Can I use rechargeable batteries?

GWJax's picture

LAC said:
I was evaluating a type of robot for my kid. He loves them. My only concern with all these types of robots is the battery. How long does it last? Can I use re-cargeable battery?

Rechargables are great for the Rover and will give you a longer run time. As stated in the review keeping him on all the time yet running him in short burts I got just over a week of play. As of running him all the time each day you might be looking at around 4 to 5 days on standard batteries.

 

Jax

WALL-E-JOE's picture

Hello. I am french. I have bought a robot rover for my son. It does not work. It gives a reaction from time to time to the remote control. Have you a solution so that it works ? Is there a reset button ? Thank you for your help.

GWJax's picture

WALL-E-JOE said:
Hello. I am french. I have bought a robot rover for my son. It does not work. It gives a reaction from time to time to the remote control. Have you a solution so that it works ? Is there a reset button ? Thank you for your help.

First there is no reset button on the Roborover but the power switch. When it is acting up like that which mine did the same thing, it turned out to be the batteries. Make sure you have brand new durcell or energizer batteries in him as well as the remote.

If this does not help your problem please post a video so I can see how it reacts and we'll go from there. Also please post if this did fix the Rover.

Jax

Cel's picture

Hi! Thanks for the great review. Im looking at this robot for my 5 year old son (we dont live in us and you cant buy wowwee here and this is the only one i can get shipped at a semi-reasonable price. I had originally been hoping for the wowwee mr personality robot. I like the roborover but it seems a bit of a drawback it is not programable? Is there enough in this to sustain interest long term? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

cyberyoyo's picture

hello.
Can you help me on my choice ?

bakkko's picture

Great review, I am already convinced.
Could you please let me know how tall is the full size robot? and any idea of the size of the packaging?

bakkko's picture

Great review! I am already convinced.
Could you please let me know how tall is the full size robot? and including the packaging?
Thanks

GWJax's picture

bakkko said: Great review! I am already convinced. Could you please let me know how tall is the full size robot? and including the packaging? Thanks

Thanks,

around 15" tall and the box is 17"h x 12"w x 12"d

 

Jax

acmrob's picture

Thanks for all you have posted. Very interesting article and photos. I have 3 robots and a lots to learn about the ones you show here. I have one RSV1 and really enjoy it. Where is another best places to see what is being done with the RSV1 ?
Thanks, Cliff

vicente's picture

como puedo cambiar el idioma de un roborover?
Gracias.

robotmaker's picture

nice work GWJAX ,all your projects look good,i bought another roborover to hack for $12 including shipping on ebay no remote ,this one looking to hack it and use a very good easy to use board called EZ ROBOT BOARD,board easy to program and lot more

vicente's picture

GWJAX ? como cambio el idioma del roborover ?
GRACIAS

antoin's picture

Can u control him with a android tablet that has a ir blaster