Ever since I watched Wall-E I have wanted my very own robotic pet. This morning I turned on my Romo who I lovingly named Jiro (after my hero Jiro Ono) and I felt like the cat that got the cream or, more precisely, the girl who got the robot. I couldn’t help but feel smitten. He’s cute, attentive (his googly eyes follow me around) and his giggle is utterly charming.
So what’s the deal with Romo?
Simply charge up the base, download the Romo app, connect your iPhone and voila! Romo appears like the robo-friend you never had.
After watching a mini video explaining Romo’s story, kids will begin training their Romo. The training helps Romo become accustomed to his new environment and teaches Romo new skills – just remember to get your kids to do the training on the floor so that Romo doesn’t unknowingly plunge to his death from a table.
This brings up another tricky point, while Ollie (check out our review here) operates using your phone, importantly your phone remains in your safe hands. With Romo, you have to dock your iPhone or iPod (4th generation iPod touch and newer) into Romo’s base and still have another iOS device to control Romo’s movement. Some parents might not be keen to donate their phones for potentially hours while kids admittedly have the time of their lives.
That being said, the telepresence mode is the real selling point. IT IS SO COOL. Think Skype on wheels but even better. Any iOS device with the Romo Control app can dial your Romo’s unique number and explore and chat. Kids can use this mode to drive adventurous Romo around while spying on other rooms from his unique perspective and parents can use this mode to have an interactive chat when they’re away.
Bonus: Romo, being a bit of an overachiever, also allows kids to learn about coding by creating their own apps.
Verdict: Romo is a fun and user-friendly robot that is sure to be any kids dream companion. The training allows kids to expand Romo’s functionality making it hard to get bored of this clever robot. Plus, the coding opportunities make Romo so much more than just a fun toy.
You can pick up a Romo for your kids from the iStore for R1599.