In science fiction, robots have traditionally been depicted as humanoid, R2D2 excepted. In practice, it's turned out to be more useful to build robots with the specific features that they need for the job that they're intended to perform. Automated lawnmowers, for instance, pretty much look like lawnmowers, albeit without a handle for a human user to push. Robotic vacuum cleaners are usually designed as floor-scooting frisbees, probably because that shape is more efficient for cleaning when there's no need to attach a handle.
Robots for kids, however, are a different matter. While some of them are non-humanoid -- the Sphero Ollie, for instance, or the Anki Overdrive -- most of them bear at least a passing resemblance to real people, if only in their facial expressions. The Skyrocket Toys Mebo falls into the humanoid camp. While you wouldn't be likely to mistake him for a human being even in the proverbial dark alley, he has some distinctly human features, especially his large, staring eye and his fully articulated arm. And, in fact, those are Mebo's two most interesting features.
When you run Mebo's mobile app, you can see through that giant eye on your display, drive him around on the floor, operate his arm and even manipulate his hand to grip objects between 8 and 12 ounces in weight. Mebo is practically a personal presence robot, albeit one that's rather tricky to drive. Manipulating the on-screen controls requires an acrobatic set of taps and swipes, but with practice you could probably get him to perform useful tasks, like picking up trash that you're too lazy to pick up yourself. You can even record messages with the app and have Mebo repeat them with the tap of a button. His video display is a sharp 720 pixels in resolution, so you'll have no trouble seeing obstacles in Mebo's path.
Mebo is one of the most sophisticated bots to hit the market yet. Other bots designed for young enthusiasts that you can compare him with include the less useful but more personality-filled Anki Cozmo, the programmable but largely nonhumanoid Makeblock Codeybot and the spider-like Arcbotics Hexy.
My son had nothing but problems with MeBo. We experienced some sort of burning plastic smell. It's hard to stay connected to the wifi and the battery won't charge fully.
I can't get this to connect to my WIFI and it will stay connected to my phone for about 1 minute then disconnect. The video does not work the whole time.
The camera is decent and the speaker and microphone seem to pick everything up without interference from surrounding noises.
This robot was a disappointment! App is easy to download but it takes forever to connect to Wi-Fi. We finally got it to work but you can't be any further than 2 ft from it.
A bit hard to control with the phone but other than that, its worth the money.
We weren't able to control the robot over the internet as advertised. Also, there was a lack of consistent responsiveness in the way it operated.
The arm would not extend. The claw worked with help. We had to constantly update network settings. This robot was too much hassle to be enjoyable for my 14 year old son.
So far it's pretty cool. Only one minor issue with connecting the iPad to the toy. Other than that no problems at all. We enjoy playing the robot together!