Allow me to introduce you to Romo. An I device controlled, iPhone cradling treaded robot that you can train, explore with, emote with and share. Check out the official details HERE.
Romo is a set of treads at the base with a cradle for your iPhone. Once inserted your iPhone takes the face of Romo, by default a blue funny little smiling guy. Using an iPad or other device you can control Romo’s movements at a max speed of up to 3 feet per second. Romo is your eyes and you can tilt him (your iPhone or iPod touch) 15 degrees forward or 45 back.
When not in use Romo can be used as a docking / charging station. You can send your friends almost anywhere in the world a custom URL and they can control your Romo. This brings up thoughts of application use like Skype / Facetime and remote learning, remote meetings, security and a million other practical and fun applications.
Romo has many faces, all of which emote a specific feeling. When I was playing with the Romo I found another Romo in the little arena and made googly eyes at it which brought over Jen McCabe the Lead on Customer Development to give me additional information about the loveable little robot.
The product was originally funded by Kickstarter and will be available in 2013 for $150.
I know the above is kind of sales pitchy but I wanted to get the facts out of the way. Romo is fun, I was roaming around the boxed in play area, looking at other people and other booths and even the ceiling with Romo’s impressive range of motion. I accidentally knocked Romo over and was able to use the cradle tilt feature to get back up on two treads and keep going. Control is responsive and intuitive using a mix of directional pad and swipe functions. There are also features I could test. There is an intuitive interface that lets you build commands and reactions for Romo (by way of programming). It’s as simple as dragging letter boxes around. You can teach Romo to respond to faces, cards, and I think even noise / voice commands but don’t quote me on that last one. I like this, that’s why it’s getting it’s own post, because I want to own one. For mobile iToys, all things being equal I kinda wanted Sphero…but Romo can do so much more….and will be far more effective at messing with the dogs.