WowWee shows off gesture-controlled dinosaurs and clever cars
Hi-tech toy firm WowWee showcased a couple of its upcoming offerings at the London Toy Fair last week. Its REV cars allow users to battle each other in either single- or multi-player modes. The MiPosaur, meanwhile, is a robotic dinosaur that responds to gestures.
Some of WowWee's previous devices have included the Spyball Wi-Fi robotic webcam that can be remotely controlled from a computer, and the MiP self-balancing robot that can be controlled via an app or with gestures. As the name suggests, the MiPosaur uses the same underlying technology as the MiP robot.
Where WowWee is concerned, "MiP" stands for "mobile inverted pendulum." This is what the two-wheeled MiP robot and MiPosaur use to balance. In addition, the MiPosaur is said to have an "evolving intelligence and personality" and sensors that can detect user gestures.
Amongst the gestures to which this ferocious toy reacts are swiping a hand in front of its face to make it turn to the side, swiping around its head to make it spin on the spot, and covering its eyes to make it act frightened. It also reacts angrily to its tail being pulled. You can see these actions demoed in the video below.
The MiPosaur comes with a track-ball equipped with WowWee's BeaconSense technology (which the company refers to as "a proprietary indoor GPS system"), with which it can detect its surroundings and navigate accordingly. The track-ball can be used as a means of controlling the MiPosaur and for playing games with it. It's also possible to control the robot via a mobile app that is available on both iOS and Android.
Like the MiPosaur, the REVs, or "robotic enhanced vehicles" make use of BeaconSense. In addition to being able to detect and navigate around their surroundings, they can also detect each other.
The REVs come in pairs and are used to battle against each other by inflicting damage with impacts or with virtual weapons fired from the cars. They can be used with friends, and an unlimited number of players can join in if they have one of the cars. Alternatively, a single user can control one REV with any number of others set into autonomous mode for a man versus machine showdown.
Games that can be played with the REVs include Chase and Evade, Team Battle and Capture the Flag. The cars come with a stunt ramp and are controlled via a mobile app that is available on iOS or Android.
The MiPosaur will cost US$119.99 and the REV starter kit will cost $99.99. Both are expected to become available in the third quarter of this year.
The video below provides an introduction to the REVs.