Review - Hasbro Interactive R2D2

I've really lost count of how many robots I've got in my collection, but it is somewhere over 20. One of my kid's favorites is the interactive R2D2 made by Hasbro. We got one of the last ones at the Sharper Image -- we bought their floor model. Our R2D2 is about 18" tall and stays in the "three legged" stance that allows it to drive around. There are motors in the outside legs, and a ball caster in the center leg. R2 drives around carpet just fine, and the best part is that he makes all the right beeps, boops, and whistles of his movie prop progenetor.

The interactive part of this robot is all voice command - there is no hand controller or infrared remote for this robot. It really helps if the area is quiet, and you get within about a foot or so of the droid before speaking. It was interesting that my kids particularly liked that the robot did not always respond, or sometimes would just shake his dome in a "no" guesture. Rather than discouraging them from talking to the robot, it became a game to try and get the robot to respond.

My personal favorite feature is right on the front -- there is a separate button that disable the drive system, so that you can sit R2D2 on a table and talk to him without him driving off. The button lights up red for disabled and blue for go.

The interactive features include several that are quite innovative. The robot has a small IR sensor that can detect humans, and some sort of IRPD (Infrared proximity detector) to avoid obstacles. The R2D2 can drive around and even play hide and seek, using the IR sensor to find humans.

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