Up to ten pre-programmed paths can be set up for Rovio to follow. The downside of this is that all paths are referenced back to the navigation beacon on the dock. If you want to plan a wandering path between several rooms you will need to buy extra TruTrack Room Beacons - one per room would be our suggestion - at $20 (£14) a go.
If you want to access your Rovio from an external network, you'll need to make the relevant port-forwarding changes to your wireless router. This is a fairly straightforward operation, and the Rovio user guide provides step-by-step instructions.
Less Optimus Prime more Mars Rover
A fair degree of thought has gone into the web-based navigation interface. As well as the expected forward, back and turn commands you can also 'side-step' left and right while keeping the same orientation, or click to turn the unit through 45°, 90°, 135° and 180°, clockwise or anti-clockwise. Dragging the device icon around the navigation screen will also move the Rovio, but this takes some practice.
The turn and movement speeds can also be changed, in effect altering the subtlety of the controls. After a few minutes' practice, 'driving' the Rovio becomes painless.
Because the crab-wise left/right command uses only the rear wheel, the Rovio does shift its alignment by about 10° before it starts to move, but that's about the only navigational quibble we had.
Goes to show...
...me and el-reg are on the same wavelength. Sort of.
Just yesterday I bought a Meccano SpyKee! That and the Rovio go hand-in-hand, as they are quite close in terms of features. I looked at the Rovio at the same time as researching the SpyKee, and came to the conclusion its just not worth the £250.
The SpyKee is £150 now from my local Tesco (RRP £200), which is about as cheap as you can get it brand new in the UK, after a quick googling.
Thats pretty much the most I have ever spent in one go at Tescos. It'll be a shock when I see my bank statement having probably forgotten about the purchase by then!
The Spykee only does QVGA / 320x200 at 15fps as opposed to the Rovio, so its price bump is a little justified. Just dont tell anybody that 640x480 webcams can be had for only a few notes nowadays! ;-)
One thing to note about the SpyKee, something which may very well affect the Rovio too - I have so far had to return it for a replacement as it refused to charge itself!! The replacement is now on charge, awaiting a full initial charge for the full test, but I'm not holding my breath as I did nothing wrong the first time round, after going thru the manual 10 times to see whether I did anything incorrectly, I think its way within my limited abilities to at least charge a device up!
Something to do with it using NiMH instead of trusty lithium Ions I reckon. Does the Rovio use NiMH batteries?
...let them sell a lot of these, and please let the default settings allow anyone with a handle on inurl: searches to find and control them.
I am sure that I could make one of these for less than a quarter of the price...and fitted with nerf rockets.
Is it hackable and how loud is it?
Is it easily hackable? If it is possible to easily DIY the speaker and flashlight then might be worth it as a good toy. Also, what level of 'stealth' does it have? Meaning is it silent enough to sneak in on the wife unannounced for a good prank?
250 quid is a bit expensive, but I bought the first version of the Robosapien four or so years ago when it first came out, and I loved it. The price point seemed a bit high at the time but once it was in my hands I saw that it was just about right as the construction was so good. Wowwee made good impression on me back then and I keep following up on their products, even though I am still waiting for my next purchase.
Hell, that's a blast from the past!!
Paris? Obvious lame reference... ;)
/tilts Starbird upwards and grabs coat