Ar­too mini- ro­bot is a Star Christ­mas gift

Solihull News - - IT TALK - BY DAVE PINWELL

SHOULD you be look­ing for a Christ­mas gift for a Star Wars en­thu­si­ast of any age, you might look no fur­ther than the Sphero R2- D2 mini- ro­bot.

Stand­ing just nine inches tall, but oth­er­wise a per­fect replica of Luke Sky­walker’s much loved side­kick droid, this feller is con­trolled from an iOS or An­droid phone or tablet us­ing a com­pan­ion down­load app.

Man­ner­isms and move­ments re­pro­duce those with which any fan of the films will be fondly fa­mil­iar, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to the trade­mark wad­dle.

The real mas­ter­stroke of the de­sign, though, is the third leg which de­ploys by it­self to have our me­chan­i­cal mate ma­noeu­vring with con­sum­mate ease on tar­mac, tile or car­pet.

Once some­what ex­pen­sive, at well over a hun­dred pounds when launched ear­lier this year, the price has been slashed and on­line prices have crept below £ 50.

Draw a path on your screen and Ar­too will speed away on the ground, along a course which ex­actly repli­cates it.

The op­tions to have him chat­ter­ing, chirp­ing and flash­ing his LED lights will be sure to bring a smile of recog­ni­tion.

His recharge­able bat­tery is spec­i­fied to last an hour, af­ter which a red flash­ing light warns that it is about time to plug in the USB charger. To add an ad­di­tional di­men­sion, the app has a vir­tual Mil­len­nium Fal­con which can be wan­dered around with a droid’s eye view.

But the smartest added value of this app prob­a­bly comes with the links to some of the films.

Leave the app open whilst watch­ing one on the TV and the Ar­too tunes in, re­act­ing to some of the key points in the ac­tion.

R2- D2

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