For a bot advertised as a toy for kids, the New Bright Endeavor Robotics 710 Kobra is serious business. Modeled after heavy-duty search-and-rescue bots, the Kobra has impressive movement and lifting capabilities, though it's unlikely that it could rescue anything larger than a potted cactus. (The weight limit on its extensible arm is about six ounces.) And while you can send it out on remote-controlled missions, it'll lose contact with the controller at about 100 feet.
Within that range, though, the Kobra can do quite a lot. It moves on a set of four independently movable tractor treads that can actually go up stairs as well as across carpets and lawns. A two-part, flexible arm extends from the platform between the treads and can be raised using the controller, reaching heights up to 39 inches. At the end of the arm are a pair of grappling pincers on a rotating "wrist." Joystick like devices on the controller allow the pincers to be opened and closed and the wrist rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise. This allow some pretty fine positioning for the pincers so that they can pick up objects and carry them around. Theoretically, the Kobra can be used to retrieve objects from places where humans can't go, though you might not want to send the Kobra to fetch a lost tennis ball from a storm drain, given that the bot might not be able to extract itself from the drain after grabbing the payload.
Perhaps this bot's most striking feature is the camera, which is mounted just below the wrist. Using Kobra's smartphone app, you can see what the camera sees. The controller has a rack for a smartphone so you can see through the bot's eyes while you operate it. The Kobra comes with a 12.8-volt lithium-ion battery and a portable charger. You'll get about 20 minutes of use for every 60 to 90 minutes of charging. The remote itself uses a pair of AA batteries.
The 710 Kobra may be the most useful general-purpose robot currently on the market, but if you're looking for a helper droid also check out the Vex Robotics Hexbug Vex IQ and the Makeblock Ultimate 2.0.
The design is cool and it moves well...it's loud...The camera function is also problematic...It stalls so we haven't been able to use the camera function yet.
A bit too temperamental for a 7-year-old. Also, can't be used in sand, etc so use is restricted. Other remote vehicles go everywhere, even in water.
While playing with the iRobot is definitely fun, controlling it can be a challenge. There are a number of different motors and joints and you need to figure out.