Another robot pooch you could be saying. We’ve seen them in the past and while they were fun for a few days, possibly lasting the holidays, eventually they ended up gathering dust in the back of the toy cupboard.
Luckily for all of us recent years have seen a number of real developments in robots and machine learning. So tech toys could finally be starting to match their promise.
Chip is a robot puppy dog which, although it might not replace a genuine pet, is pretty close to the real thing. It is an interactive toy that, embarrassingly, you may develop an emotive attachment to.
Just How Much Will He Cost?
Chip has been on sale for a while now and started retailing at $199.00. It now retails new at $229. This makes it quite an expensive plaything.
Who Is Likely To Buy It?
WowWee recommends Chip for the 6 – 15 years age range. But it should also interest more mature children and adults who have an interest in robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Younger kids are certain to love him too but we would suggest that they do so under older guidance. There is two hundred dollars worth of technology to go wrong!
Things We Really Like About Chip
He has a significant range of functionality and features so we are simply going to cover the tip of the iceberg here. Chip comes with a Smartband, Smartbed and SmartBall which we talk more about below.
Remember all those awkward robot dogs of the past walking on limbs that could hardly move? Well Chip moves around on wheels so you really will love that. The mecanum wheels, a wheel which can move in any direction, lets Chip move with speed and agility in multi directions. He can easily follow you around and play games with his ball.
Chip’s SmartBed functions as somewhere for him to go to sleep and also recharge his battery. When the battery is low he will automatically return to his bed to recharge.
And he comes with a SmartBall which you can educate him to fetch and bring back to you. Alternatively you can play soccer with him. This is a great way to use a technology toy to keep your children active.
To manipulate Chip you have to use the SmartBand via which he will identify you as his owner and no one else as his pet parent. There are numerous interactive operations and responses that can be carried out involving you, Chip and the SmartBand.
This is just one of the real appeals of this toy in that you are able to, for instance, reward Chip for positive actions. So he will grow to know what you like or don’t like and this means he is becomes unique to each owner.
Like a real dog you can train Chip to come to heel or stay. You can actually get him to deal with people that are frustrating you. Thankfully he does not bite!
Chip will regularly be upgraded to ensure a better owner experience with more features and improvements as time goes on.
The product includes a 90 day warranty.
Aspects We Didn’t Really Like Regarding Chip
We generally like what we have found so far. There are over 600 customer comments and feedback on Amazon with a total 3 star rating. So there are obviously a range of experiences being reported.
One thing to be aware of is that Chip is an in house robotic pup. If you planned on taking him for walks around the local community it could be a bit of a let-down.
Is It Worth The Cash?
Two hundred dollars is a significant amount of anyone’s budget to pay for a child’s plaything. However we feel that this is likely to have a lot of use. It will be regularly updated through its app with more functions so imagine youngsters shouldn’t grow jaded with it.
But before you commit your dollars to Chip be sure to check out some of the alternative that Amazon lists. There could well be a cheaper option that will better suit at a cheaper price.
Where To Buy It?
Amazon is the obvious place to start but there are other sellers listed there too.
For all that that has been said so far Toy makers haven’t got to the point where they can replace a real live puppy. This is probably the closest they have reached so far.
As interactive AI toys go this one is in a brand new category.