Need a brain break? Looking for a new way to scare the cat? Mesmerize the kids? Well, the people over at Desk Pets must have been thinking that lots of people were feeling the same way – so they came up with the Skitterbot. While we’re game (some might say ‘suckers’) for virtually any kind of remote control toys, I have to say we’ve all been impressed by these fast moving little bugs. Here’s our take on the Skitterbot from Desk Pets.
A SkitterBot Invasion
Like everyone else, here at Your Tech Report, we find some days are just better than others. When the package came from the guys over at Desk Pets, we were all pretty sure that this was going to be one of the good ones. Opening the relatively simply packaging didn’t reveal much…just the Skitterbot itself and its combination remote and charger. The remote is small and features a retractable USB to allow you to charge the Skitterbot from any computer. A permanently attached cable extends from the remote and plugs into the Skitterbot for charging (which takes about 30 minutes and powers about 15 minutes of play). The remote has five buttons to direct your Skitterbot to stop, move forward, move back, go right or left. The remote also includes a LED light that indicates charge status: glowing green while charging and then turning off when complete.
The Skitterbot features gem-like facets that do a reasonable job combining the organic look of a bug with the mechanical aspects of a small robot. Looking at the Skitterbot from the front, you’ll find the charging connection hidden under the head, while flipping it over exposes its six legs and the on/off switch. Lastly, when you do finally power up the little ‘Bot, you’ll find two little beady red eyes that glow while in use and flash “heartbeat like” when sitting around doing nothing. Though simple, the effect does its job, giving the Skitterbot the look of a “living machine.”
“Jeez, they are fast…”
Honestly, that was virtually everyone’s – myself included – reaction upon seeing the Skitterbot in action for the first time. I mean, let’s be honest: its one thing to read Desk Pets own claims that SKITTERBOT is “the fastest legged robot… traveling at an amazing one foot per second” and something else entirely to actually see it happen. Rest assured… they move fast – and that speed generates a whole new level of fun. Using the Skitterbot is easy and fun. We found that they worked well on a wide variety of surfaces (warning: beware thick shag) and that the remote works great. It is worth noting that the remotes work via infrared, so you’ll have to keep a line of sight with the Skitterbot to keep them under control… but the range is really only limited by line of sight, so you can send the little guys a good ways in search of fun and trouble.
…and now for the really cool part. As fun as it is to have a choice of 4 colors for your Skitterbot (Clear, Green, Blue and Red), these different colors are for more than just show–each color represents a different frequency. What does this mean? It means that Skitterbots are meant to be social, allowing up to 4 bugs to be used at the same time without interference; and unlike old-school RC toys, you don’t have to go hunting for your toy’s frequency–as long as Skitterbots are a different color, they place nicely together.
Will Skitterbots change life as you know it? Probably not. Will they bring you short bursts of fun that distract you from your mundane routine? Absolutely! Once again, Desk Pets has come through with a small, simple RC robot that brings hours of fun and minimal downtime. The Skitterbot controls well, charges quickly and conveniently, and best of all, looks just plain cool. And Honestly? We can’t think of too many gadgets that offer this much fun for 20 bucks. In fact, you should probably pick up 2 of them–your friends will thank you.