For decades we’ve been promised autonomous robots to do our bidding. We have dreamt of a glorious future in which we drink cocktails as our mechanical minions attend to our other concerns. Alas, as with hover-boards and computerised bureaucrats, that future has not yet arrived. Sure, you can have a robot but all it will do is amuse you. Introducing Mip: the new consumer robot that won’t make you tea but is otherwise a delightful chap.
Mip is the world’s f irst balancing robot. It cleverly runs around, or just stands still, on two wheels, using similar technology to what you’d f ind in those Segway motorised scooter things that you stand on. This technology alone is pretty amazing.
There are several modes you can activate and Mip can also be controlled with a smartphone app. My favourite mode was ‘roam’ in which Mip wanders a r ound t he room, whistling and making e xc l a mations as it goes. The robot also scans the e nv i r on ment in front of it and will avoid walls, stairs and other obstacles.
Value for money:
Also consider: It’s great t fun to just set it down and watch ch it go.
Another her impressive mode has Mip following g your hand gestures. If you beckon it t toward you with your hand, Mip follows. lows. Wave your hand to the side and d Mip will turn that way. It provides endless pointless entertainment.
Mip can also fight against other robots if you have more than one and includes udes a tray it can carry with anything thing up to its own bodyweight on n top. Before you get any ideas, however, let me suggest that getting the thing to carry liquids is a very bad idea.
Mip is s a well-conceived product, but there is one confusing design decision in that it t uses four AAA batteries for power instead nstead of an internal rechargeable battery. ery. You’ll also only get about a day’s worth rth of moderate play out of Mip before the e batteries are depleted and you have to deal with three screws on the battery compartment to change them. Fairly ridiculous diculous and puts a serious dent in the fun un we were having until Mip’s first round d of fb batteries i ran d dry.
Apparently a rechargeable Mip is in the works but until then make sure you have a decent budget for batteries and a Philips screwdriver handy before committing to purchase. That’s really the only con to an otherwise awesome toy.