Five cool toy robots

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5 ROBOTAN TOILET-ROLL HOLDER

This ceramic bog-roll holder is available in black, white, yellow or red, from excellent gadget website Audiocubes, which sells all sorts of cool, out-of-stock Japanese stuff. It even comes with a free toilet roll, so you can wipe ‘in a robot stylee’ straight away. The best kind of toilet humour. BUY IT

5 COOL ROBOTS FOR YOUR SHOPPING LIST CONTINUED…

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4 GAKKEN DIGI-ROBO 01

This is a self-assembly digital robot kit for you to build and program. The robot ‘reads’
light and dark as binary and interprets them accordingly,
drawing a shape based on the program of light and dark spots. Simply
color the slots of your choice on the programming disk using a black
marker, then the device reads the pattern and rolls across the page. Everything you need to build this little fella is
included, including motors, a baseboard, turntable etc. You’ll need a screwdriver and a couple of batteries, but that’s it. Very cool. BUY IT

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3 PLANET ROBOT

Hmm, he looks suspiciously like Robbie the Robot from The Forbidden Planet. But he’s not. Planet Robot, or Rob as we’ll call him, is a classic wind-up robot. The website which sells him, kitsch.co.uk, stresses that Rob is not a children’s toy, but for adult collectors only, so if you’re thinking of buying this for your nephew, you have been warned. BUY IT

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2 VOICE-ACTIVATED R2D2 REPLICA

This motorised replica of everyone’s favourite droid is 15 inches tall and responds to more than 40 voice commands (‘Turn around! Move
forward two units!’). He can even play games like tag, using an infra-red
sensor to search for people in a room. His sensor helps him follow
behind you, or it can be set to detect motion, turning R2 into a room
sentry that sounds an alarm when an area is invaded. Handy. R2s lights,
swiveling dome top, and distinctive happy and sad sounds mimic the real thing, right down to his occasional grumpy mood. (A simple
command of, ‘R2, behave yourself!’ snaps him out of it, apparently.) It can also
replay sounds and dialogue from the Star Wars movies. BUY IT

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1 LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

According to LEGO, the Mindstorms NXT lets you ‘create the smartest, strongest and most advanced LEGO robot ever, in
as few as 30 minutes!’ The new NXT is based around an ‘Intelligent Brick’, a 32-bit microprocessor which supports both USB 2.0 and Bluetooth. With the included Quick-Start guide, easy-to-use
software and step-by-step instructions, beginners and experts
alike can create humanoid, vehicle and animal robots that obey your commands. Cool. Programming
software is now available for both PC and Mac. LEGO wasn’t like this in my day.

By ShinyMedia | October 3rd, 2006