Why, you might ask, would a robot need to be self balancing? Most bots, after all, crawl around on tractor treads or lumber about on large feet, so they're never in much danger of tipping over. The Kuman Self-balancing Robot, on the other hand, rolls along on a pair of fairly slender wheels and, like a Segway self-balancing scooter, has no stability inherent to its structure. It has to constantly work to maintain its vertical equilibrium, teetering forward or backward if it senses that it's about to topple over in the opposite direction.
This instability allows the Kuman to race forward pretty quickly when you use his remote control to drive him around, but it's when this bot is in Serve mode that his balancing act becomes particularly impressive. Put a tray in his outstretched arms and the Kuman will carry its contents from room to room, moving slowly so that it won't drop anything. Unfortunately, this bot's carrying ability is limited to light objects -- for instance, bagels. One online reviewer complains that even a can of Coke puts too much strain on the bot's arms and sense of balance. Still, the fact that it can make it from room to room without dropping a bagel is pretty impressive in itself.
In addition to Serve mode, you can also put the Kuman into Turn mode, where it'll spin around in pirouettes that would make a mechanical ballerina proud; Dance mode, where it varies up the moves and plays fast-moving, percussive music; Boxing mode, where it will punch it out with a second bot; and Sensors mode, where it'll race around avoiding obstacles. The modes are indicated by the color of the large, glowing LED on the Kuman's chest.
The Kuman can also be controlled with hand motions, but you might not want to entrust it to carry anything more breakable than a bagel, because it does have the occasional tendency to lose its balance. For a similar bot, look at the Wowwee MiP. Also, check out the EZ-Robot Roli Rover, the Makeblock mBot Ranger and the Tenergy Odev Tomo.
Very entertaining and my kids love it...what I don't like so much it's the battery you have to unscrew to charge the rechargeable batteries that come with all time.
Batteries are terrible, does not last long at all, takes forever to charge for a couple of minutes of play!