Zoomer the Robot Dog Experience

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Zerover
Zerover's picture
Zoomer the Robot Dog Experience

I just bought a Zoomer robotic dog out of curiosity and I am quite impressed.  The toy has a really innovative design and it has a very zoomorphic level of interaction. Yes, it is more of a toy than a robot as far as motorized complexity and brain power, but the clever crafting of its drive system coupled with excellent infrared collision avoidance blurs the line a bit.  Zoomer has an engaging personality, if you like frantic small dogs, although I found myself thinking it was more like a rodent or ferret when it really became insane. Voice control is superb, and the robot understands exactly the number of commands any sane person should commit to memory for such a toy. 

Even at this early stage of examination, Zoomer shows hints of developing behavior at a level of complexity I did not expect.  The robot does not always react the same to a command and almost always varies its responses.  At times Zoomer will slow down its rapid wanderings to lay down, fall asleep, or just wag its tail.  One of the most fascinating things to watch is the way the toy's eyes move when dog navigates--that is if you can keep up with it.   Zoomer moves with RC car swiftness at times and can change direction with dizzying forward and backward movements as it uses its binocular infrared vision to negotiated tight spots. The toy’s sensors are very effective at guiding the robot, and reaction is quick enough to actively follow animate objects like receding human heels with relative ease.   I've seen Zoomer navigate a forest of chair and table legs without getting stuck, only to emerge from the forest and do it all over again from a different angle.

I can't help but think that it is a shame this toy was not scaled up a bit and given a few more motors, a bigger battery and a programmable brain.  Zoomer's ability to rapidly traverse terrain gives the toy's interactive behavior a boost, because it is at the level of an animal with a high metabolism.  Zoomer can easily keep up with the walking pace that humans use at home and I think a larger one could match that of a real dog trotting along outside.   The independent four wheel drive system allows for instant acceleration and quick stops, and the articulated "suspension" arms and wasp waist make for tight stunt turns and exceptional traction. The design would make for a cool full size quad ride

 I feel it’s worth what I paid for the little toy, although naturally I would have happily paid less.  It’s not an Aibo knock off, or a new i-Cybie.  It’s not in the league of either of those robots as far as mechanical complexity or programmability.  Zoomer is a new thing; it’s faster and more agile than anything out there and it offers a glimpse into the faster paced interaction possible with future robotic pets. 

nomad
nomad's picture
any change for a video?

any change for a video?

Zerover
Zerover's picture
There are many videos

There are many videos currently on the web featuring Zoomer that summarize the robot's behavior pretty well. When I decide to open it up I'll post some pictures then. Right now I'm still studying the exhisting AI and comparing it to other robots of similar complexity--and there are easter eggs buried in there.
The mechanism that drives Zoomers legs is very interesting. The elbows and knees of the toy are not motorized but function using a combination of engine torc, clutching, and spring tension to achieve standing and sitting postures. There are no motors in the shoulders or hips but there is one at the waist. It doesn't seem to be able to sense whether it's wheels are touching the floor but it can detect if it is on its side and which side it is on.

GTJYves
GTJYves's picture
Hi,

Hi,

I just bought one this WE for my doughtier and quickly tried it: looks like she (and the whole family) is going to have fun.
i have one technical concern: I tried different ways to charge the battery but failed so far: my iPhone charger does nothing, nor does my desktop computer or a laptop.
What are you charging yours with?

Tonya
Tonya's picture
I'm having the same problem

I'm having the same problem with charging. I was able to get it to charge once but never again. I brought it back to the store, exchanged it, tested the new one before leaving and it charged. Got it home, charged it up fully, my son played with it and now it won't charge. I get a slight flicker in the eyes when I turn the switch to on when it's on the charger. It's supposed to light up when charging and the eyes give you a battery level when you press down on his head. Again, he did that once, but now I'm stuck with a dead battery dog again. Was thinking this was a bad batch or something until I read GTJYves post above... any ideas on how to fix this? (I have tried charging on the laptop and wall outlet, wall outlet was what was successful the first time)

Tonya
Tonya's picture
Just messed around with it

Just messed around with it for about 10 minutes straight, flipping it around, patting it's head, turning it off and on, plugging and unplugging it and it FINALLY came on and is charging again. Any thoughts on this would still be appreciated, not sure what I did to get it to come back on, really seems random.

nomad
nomad's picture
hi.does the manuel says

hi.does the manuel says something howlong you must charge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JocE7lhDPcM

GTJYves
GTJYves's picture
Yes, it is supposed to charge

Yes, it is supposed to charge for an hour.

I never got any flicker in the eyes, although I charged it all night long (iPhone charger); the eyes remain switched off when I push on its head.

I'll try to get a 2100 mAh charger tomorrow to verify if it is linked to a high need for current.

Tonya
Tonya's picture
Try just plugging it into a

Try just plugging it into a plain old desktop USB port with the charger included and see if you get the faint flicker in the eyes. I get it if I plug the charge into the dog then into the computer THEN turn the power switch off and on.If you do then just keep messing with it until it suddenly comes to life... hopefully I can keep getting mine to do it....

nomad
nomad's picture
auch.not a good idea to

auch.not a good idea to charge hole night long.
can you check if the batt is death.
and ask manufacturer whits charger is best.

GTJYves
GTJYves's picture
I tried to charge Zoomer with

I tried to charge Zoomer with a more powerful USB charger (10W, 2100mAh) and after 30 min, the eyes were indicating that it was fully charged!

The birthday of my daughter is Friday, so we'll soon find out if it really works fine.

nomad
nomad's picture
good find.two thumbs up for

good find.two thumbs up for friday.

Tffny
Tffny's picture
Hi

Hi

Can anyone provide me with zoomers manufacturers contact information email and phone number.

Thanks so much.

Tffny
Tffny's picture
Can anyone give me Zoomer

Can anyone give me Zoomer Robodog manufacters contact info, email or phone number?

Thanks so much.

Tffny
Tffny's picture
GTJYves said: Hi, I just

GTJYves said: Hi, I just bought one this WE for my doughtier and quickly tried it: looks like she (and the whole family) is going to have fun. i have one technical concern: I tried different ways to charge the battery but failed so far: my iPhone charger does nothing, nor does my desktop computer or a laptop. What are you charging yours with?

Can you provide me with zoomers manufacturers contact info I am having same issue.

 

 

 

nomad
nomad's picture
the adres chould be on the

the adres chould be on the box

Tffny
Tffny's picture
nomad said: good find.two

nomad said: good find.two thumbs up for friday.

Can you tell me how to contact zoomers manufacturer or warranty contact number we through box out to early and now were having issues. Please and thank you.

nomad
nomad's picture
ask someone who bouth the

ask someone who bouth the zoomer too

nomad
nomad's picture
try this adres.
SJ
SJ's picture
Purchased this dog online, it

Purchased this dog online, it came yesterday. Worked for 10 mins now it wont charge. I have contacted the supplier and I am waiting for a reply. I have tried my PC and laptop but I don't even get a flicker in the eyes. Tried patting his head and have waited over an hour to charge but still nothing. Its my daughters birthday on 30th and I hope this gets sorted by then ! Any tips would be really helpful.

nomad
nomad's picture
maybe you have to charge it a

maybe you have to charge it a few houres.

Zerover
Zerover's picture
I'm having the same problem

I'm having the same problem charging my Zoomer too. Now it is completely dead. Its pretty useless at this point for anything except--taking it apart to see what makes it tick. Maybe I will get a little more amusement out of this rolling rip-off yet.

nomad
nomad's picture
hi,can any place some pics

hi,can any place some pics off the charger and the inside batt case.
does the plug off the charger fitt well on the socket?

nomad
nomad's picture
hi,i dont know if you have

hi,i dont know if you have any luck whit this video,i hope so

its how to test if your adaptor gifs the right amount voltage zoomer needs.

second it test if you got also negatif.the red crocdile clip is negatif in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8EXhqxdS7g

Christie 1975
Christie 1975's picture
I am having the same charging

I am having the same charging issue. Just bought today and was able to charge twice. Please post what manufacturer advises and I will do the same. I just emailed their customer support but it's closed til Monday morningm

SJ
SJ's picture
Hi all, I took my zoomer back

Hi all, I took my zoomer back to the shop instead of returning online and they checked it in fromy of me. It was faulty and didnt charge or work at all. I have a replacemnt that the store manager had charged and tried it out before I got to the shop. It seems to works perfectly. But I have told him if after next Wednesday it doesnt charge I will return this one and get a full refund. So fingers crossed, I will keep you updated after Wednesday 30th.

nomad
nomad's picture
good work SJ.

good work SJ.

PK mum!
PK mum!'s picture
Exactly the same situation

Exactly the same situation bought this today after 30 mins of training,commands etc the toy stops working and will not charge.

Tried all options but completely 'dead!!'

Returning to Smyths tomorrow total pain as out of area and daughter extremely disappointed.

Any more info on if this is a design flaw or just unlucky seems to be a trend.

Christie 1975
Christie 1975's picture
RE: Charging Issues

RE: Charging Issues

The manufacturer e-mailed me the following - so far so good!

We're sorry to hear that Zoomer is giving you some charging problems and we would love to have the opportunity to help you out here. The good news is that there is a fairly straight forward work around for this! When charging Zoomer in the ON position (as the Instructions outline), Zoomer does need a little bit of battery life in order to initiate the charging process. If Zoomer has been running around all day, he might not have any power at all, which makes initiating the charging process a little more difficult.

Zoomer will also charge in the OFF position, and in situations such as this when he appears to not have enough power to charge in the ON position, this should fix your issue. Simply connect Zoomer to a power source (we always recommend using a desktop computer rather than a laptop), leave him turned OFF, and leave him plugged in for about an hour or two. Zoomer should get enough power to turn on and run around, and after this you should be absolutely fine charging Zoomer in the ON position as the Instructions suggest.

If going through these tips does not resolve your issue, don't worry! We can be reached at 1-800-622-8339.

When you call us, please have your toy with you so we are able to run through a few tips. We'll do everything we can to help you out!

nomad
nomad's picture
great post christie1975.you

great post christie1975.you help many out here.

SJ
SJ's picture
Brilliant, we will try this

Brilliant, we will try this if we have any other issues. Daughters birthday tomorrow and she has no idea I have this gift for her. She really wants one bless her. Thank you Christie for this information x

PK mum!
PK mum!'s picture
Thanks for the info, will

Thanks for the info, will print this out and keep handy!

We returned the zoomer toy the store at first the staff member was reluctant to believe my hubby but he insisted and she tried it out whilst they browsed in the store definitely nothing happened no charge! They changed it for another which seems to be charging OK will keep an eye on things.

Thankfully it was an early gift so able to check it out before the potential Christmas melt down!

Happy training!

SJ
SJ's picture
So. its my daughters birthday

So. its my daughters birthday !! Zoomer has been working brilliantly until charge time !!! Its on charge now. Been on charge in the off position and now I have put it on charge in the on position. The eyes only have one line and that's all it seems to stay on ? that's not right is it ?

nomad
nomad's picture
hi happy birthday for your

hi happy birthday for your daughter.
i read somewhere the on/off must stand in off possition.but am not sure.

SJ
SJ's picture
I have charged it now in the

I have charged it now in the on position and it still has one line on the eyes. Its working though ? My daughter is playing with it now and I will wait now till it runs out. Then I will see what happens.

SJ
SJ's picture
Thank you for the birthday

Thank you for the birthday wishes :)

nomad
nomad's picture
is it possible that you must

is it possible that you must charged like a cell phone first time,10 houres?

Farrah
Farrah's picture
They need to work all the

They need to work all the bugs out of this toy before they sell it to people. Right now it's a rip off. This will be the second one I'm returning because it won't take charge or even "flicker" as others have gotten it to do. Word of warning: Wait till this thing is out of beta. And there really is no way to fix on your own. It was fun for like 2 seconds when it worked but now it's just total frustration!

zoomer hater
zoomer hater's picture
I can't believe that so many

I can't believe that so many of these pieces of junk have the same problem you'd think that apple would give out more info on what to do when it happens I think all I have now is a boat anchor

nomad
nomad's picture
hi i dont have a zoomer.but i

hi i dont have a zoomer.but i can see your point.
i gess the good quality is dropping.
soon its only for people who has lots off money.
it goes too fast these days.like you say its allreddy on site,
but not reddy yet.i bouth ones tree i-qbots.i work it on for two months.
i got them working but then they close the visuel program.
so i have tree bots i cant use no more.its a killer frustration.
when i put my batt case in the i-qbot,some times it work,but some times i see the springs starts to glowing red hot.too bad wowwee dont make a zoomer cause it will be really much better quality.i hope its work out for you,goodluck

Roboxzxz
Roboxzxz's picture
I had same charging problem.

I had same charging problem. The manufacturers suggestion of turning to off while charging did work. I guess if its fully dead it won't charge while on. Thanks for the post!

hi
hi's picture
do you know how long the

do you know how long the manufacture warranty is? I want to buy one but should i also purchase the store's extended warranty? thank you.

Zanta
Zanta's picture
Early Xmas gift for my

Early Xmas gift for my grandson. I charged it initially on my PC and it worked great the first day. Next day, wouldn't take a full re-charge and now, less than 48 hrs, it won't do a thing.

Tried all the tricks on this site to no avail. I have to believe Zoomer is a bust ! Seems to have a history with this particular complaint/defect.

It's getting returned to the store tomorrow. If you own one and are reading this site for answers, return your Zoomer ASAP !!! It'll never work as advertised !!!

Yvon
Yvon's picture
my son just got one for Xmas

my son just got one for Xmas and he was so excited that his aunt opened it up and they started playing around with it, until it stopped working. Now he won't charge at all and i know that lipo batteries should never be fully drained because they won't charge but what kind of idiot puts a lipo in a childs toy, as if they know this stuff. Sadly if it won't charge it may just end up in the trash because i doubt his grandfather kept the receipt.

foxmama
foxmama's picture
RE: Charging Issues

RE: Charging Issues

The manufacturer e-mailed me the following - so far so good!

We're sorry to hear that Zoomer is giving you some charging problems and we would love to have the opportunity to help you out here. The good news is that there is a fairly straight forward work around for this! When charging Zoomer in the ON position (as the Instructions outline), Zoomer does need a little bit of battery life in order to initiate the charging process. If Zoomer has been running around all day, he might not have any power at all, which makes initiating the charging process a little more difficult.

Zoomer will also charge in the OFF position, and in situations such as this when he appears to not have enough power to charge in the ON position, this should fix your issue. Simply connect Zoomer to a power source (we always recommend using a desktop computer rather than a laptop), leave him turned OFF, and leave him plugged in for about an hour or two. Zoomer should get enough power to turn on and run around, and after this you should be absolutely fine charging Zoomer in the ON position as the Instructions suggest.

If going through these tips does not resolve your issue, don't worry! We can be reached at 1-800-622-8339.

When you call us, please have your toy with you so we are able to run through a few tips. We'll do everything we can to help you out!

foxmama
foxmama's picture
RE: Charging Issues

RE: Charging Issues

The manufacturer e-mailed me the following - so far so good!

We're sorry to hear that Zoomer is giving you some charging problems and we would love to have the opportunity to help you out here. The good news is that there is a fairly straight forward work around for this! When charging Zoomer in the ON position (as the Instructions outline), Zoomer does need a little bit of battery life in order to initiate the charging process. If Zoomer has been running around all day, he might not have any power at all, which makes initiating the charging process a little more difficult.

Zoomer will also charge in the OFF position, and in situations such as this when he appears to not have enough power to charge in the ON position, this should fix your issue. Simply connect Zoomer to a power source (we always recommend using a desktop computer rather than a laptop), leave him turned OFF, and leave him plugged in for about an hour or two. Zoomer should get enough power to turn on and run around, and after this you should be absolutely fine charging Zoomer in the ON position as the Instructions suggest.

If going through these tips does not resolve your issue, don't worry! We can be reached at 1-800-622-8339.

When you call us, please have your toy with you so we are able to run through a few tips. We'll do everything we can to help you out!

KD
KD's picture
The ears are built to "pop"

The ears are built to "pop" off, which is probably a good idea overall, but one of them apparently popped off the Zoomer my daughter got for Cmas this morning and after several hours of looking, it's nowhere to be found. She's absolutely crushed. Any idea how I can get a new ear?

mamabeze
mamabeze's picture
Hi there fellow tired folks

Hi there fellow tired folks on Christmas night. Trying to figure out the zoomer. Hope I can help. I to have been at this throughout the day and perhaps Christmas luck I think I got it. I have had one of them plugged in a wall which seemed to work best & the other on a comp. I got a flicker in the eye and just turned on and off and than took the cord out to see if the lines showed in eyes. One had shown almost full eyes and the other just one (had on for just a few min). I let the less of two charge while I tried to play with the other charged one and she (purple one) works. Stubborn Lil pup! Than I tried the 2nd one and he works too. stubborn too but does listen. Felt like dealing with a real pup.
Anyhow so my advice. Plug into wall not computer, than turn dog off before unplugging. Than turn on. Push down on head eyes should light up to how charged. Than push the button by the back near tail to start play..... That's what worked for these two dogs. I thought it was me than had been blaming on the dog. Dug thru xmas trash to get box to return for a other Watched YouTubes trying to explain but gave it one last try and it worked. I hope this keeps working. I will make sure to charge before battery dead next time. Instructions do say to charge fully before 1st play so was probably thrown off that played out of the box. Prob shoulda given to my 5yr old e and it woulda been figured out faster.
Good luck parents! Merry Christmas!
Will call #posted above if this doesnt keep working for these dogs. Idea to come out next yr-include wall charger and fix the obvious glitch, let kids name their own dog to program to call. If even from a pre programed list of several boy and girl names, can make this thru an app...?

reph4444
reph4444's picture
having the same problem re:

having the same problem re: charging
Charged first time OK from laptop, since then I get a slight flicker or flashing eyes for a few secs or nothing at all. I have been trying all day with different USB chargers but can't get more than one bar on zoomer's eyes :-(
Very unhappy little girl

amylynn
amylynn's picture
I bought my daughter zoomer

I bought my daughter zoomer for christmas and we had the same problem. I thought zoomer wasn't charging because he was slowly turning his back around when tuned on, his eyes were on and not responding to anything. I turned our zoomer off and on, until he responded. Now zoomer works like a charm. I hope you get the same results.

jrkw17
jrkw17's picture
Same problem...we charged it

Same problem...we charged it almost an hour. It worked great. Let it sleep. We charged it again and played with it. Now it won't charge or do anything. Number I am on hold with now is 800-622-8339. I believe it is option 3 for Zoomer.

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