My sons and daughter went in together and gave me a wonderful Christmas gift this year.
It is called a WowWee MiP robot. The MiP stands for “Mobile inverted Pendulum.” The best I could figure is that it is another way to say self-balancing. This little robot (~8″ tall) works like Dean Kamen’s Segway vehicle and uses a gyroscope to keep it balanced.
WowWee does a nice job of having the robot work right out of the box if you have four (4) triple-A (AAA) batteries available. My sons and daughter bought me the KOHL’s Special Stunt Edition with a Stunt Teeter Ramp.
On the outside of the box it had the battery requirements and how to install them. Everything went down just as expected.
After turning it on you will see various modes indicated by the color of of LED on the front of MiP. The default is blue which means is uses what is called GestureSense Technology. You use your hand to make the robot move forward, backward, turn right or left, or stop. It doesn’t take long to learn how to make the robot work in this mode. Here is a video from DadDoes.com to give you a flavor for how the robot works.
Some people think the Gesture mode is good basic training and then will move on to Stack mode where you have to install a tray accessory to the front of MiP. In this mode you have a few seconds to stack a heavy object or several light objects onto the top of the tray. Of course, you can use this mode without the timer.
All of the other modes – cage, tricks, roam, dance, and tracking require you to pick up MiP and turn the right or left wheel until the mode indicator changes color to the mode you want to use.
In addition to using the above modes, you can download the free app to access features or turn your smartphone into a remote control to play games or have MiP dance or in my case, roll up to the Stunt Teeter Ramp and go over it without having it fall down!
The key about using the free app is to be sure you have the right system requirements ahead of time. For instance, I bought an Android smartphone in January 2014 with Android 4.1 on it and it could not handle the app. For an Android phone you must have Android 4.3 or later. It was a bummer not being able to use it until one of my geek sons allowed me to use one of his Android phones running Android 4.4. The download was quick through Google Play and then the fun really began. Here is just a short glimpse of controlling MiP via the Android app.
(For Apple you need to have iPhone 4s or later, iPad 3, iPad Air or later, iPad mini, iPad minii Retina or later, iPad touch 5th generation, iOS 7 or later. Here is the listing of device compatibility.)
Overall, I had hours of fun playing with MiP and intend on getting to the point to fully utilize its capabilities. There is an option where you draw a path on the screen and MiP will follow it. As MiP moves along the path the app shows a virtual MiP so you can follow its progress on the screen.
If you’re a dad like me, a gift like this will be one for the ages.
Quote for the Day: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain