Exhibited during Toy Fair 2011 in New York, Desk Pets’ TankBot has joined the likes of the HELO TC, Sphere and AR Drone in the growing ranks of smartphone-controlled gizmos and the US$25 bot has individually powered tiny tank-tracks and infrared sensors for free-roaming and maze solving modes. Remote control works using a dongle that plugs into the smartphone’s headphone jack along with the free iOS 4.2 and Android compatible app and the ange is quite limited though, offering up to 3m (9.8ft) and the remote must be pointed toward the front black screen of the Tankbot to work properly. A single 40-minute charge allows the toy to operate for 15 minutes and it has headlights for eyes that flash when the toy is idle………………
Desk Pets International (HK) Limited, creator of interactive micro-robotic toys and gadgets with big-play value unveils TankBot, winner of Popular Science’s Best of Toy Fair 2011. Three interactive modes allow TankBot to navigate mazes, free-roam, and be fully controllable by your Apple iOS or Android mobile device. Featuring a built-in USB charger, battery cost is non-existent, giving TankBot hours of inexpensive playtime. Available today for $24.99 at Radio Shack and Toys “R” Us nationwide. Equipped with a variety of play modes, sounds and maneuvers, TankBot has a personality all its own. In autonomous maze solving mode, infrared sensors allow it to navigate twist, turns and around obstacles with military precision. Set TankBot to free-roaming mode and watch it take the helm, acting under its own direction while providing various sounds including aggressive growls, impatient honks and in the rare case it tips over, even a helpless cry. With Desk Pet‘s free downloadable iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android mobile device application, users can fully control TankBot with their mobile device. Using the Apple iOS, dual joystick steering allows realistic tank maneuvers by powering left and right tracks individually. Each TankBot comes with an iDesk Pets universal remote that easily plugs into the headphone jack of your mobile device. Once connected, the application is compatible with TankBot, as well as Desk Pets current products SkitterBot and TrekBot.
Desk Pets International Managing Directors, David Piltz and Michael Trzecieski have high hopes for TankBot as we head into the holiday season. “TankBot’s smartphone compatibility and multiple modes, coupled with budget friendly USB charging and a sub-$25 price point, make it a great stocking stuffer for the holidays,” says Piltz. Michael Trezcieski points to its interactive play and military like maneuvers that set it apart. “In free-roam mode you can block it with your hands and watch it aggressively attack or decide to turn and run. The maze solving mode is incredibly accurate, with complete autonomous navigation TankBot can solve any puzzle you can come up with.” TankBot features include:
- Fully controllable by iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android mobile device application Autonomous mode uses IR sensors to navigate mazes, avoid obstacles, and react with military precision
- Free roaming mode with various sounds
- Retractable USB charger built into body of the product, 40 minutes of charge = 15 minutes of play
- Flashing heartbeat eyes pulse when robot is idle
- Each color (orange, blue, black, and green) operates on own frequency, allowing for multi-player racing and battling