"Can we have a dog, Daddy?"
"Erm. No thanks, Lyall."
But what about a dog that doesn't poop?
For our second tech review, we've teamed up with Silverlit Toys. Meet Rover, our new robotic pet! The Robo Dash is a clever, stretchy sausage dog, complete with a smart 'ball' it's programmed to interact with. Let's give this a go.
YCOO Robo Dash
Visit Robo Dash on the YCOO Robots website here
Basic tech specs
Robo Dash can stretch up to 45cm long
Speaker for lively sound effects
Lifelike fabric belly
All direction control
How well does it work?
Lyall has taken Rover the Robo Dash under his wing and set himself the task of learning all about Rover's features. To get started, he put 5 AA batteries into Rover back-end and 2 AAA batteries into his ball. You'll need a small screwdriver for that.
Once powered up with batteries, Rover came to life and did a couple of tail-chasing circles on the carpet. We're off to a good start! He's very cute.
For the first minute or two we left Rover to his own devices. He happily scurries around on the living room floor, panting, ears flapping and woofing away. If he gets stuck (he found himself jammed under my studio lighting), he stops and whines for help.
When patted on the head or upper part of his rear-end, Rover gets quite excited - his spring coil middle shrinks and grows and his little tail wags brilliantly. Adorable! He is a little unpredictable, for instance patting his head seems to trigger a slightly different response each time. Also, he's a bit clumsy, bashing into furniture and walls!
His interactive ball is essentially a radio control with a number of functions which control or interact with Rover. The red button on the top of the ball sends out an infra red light which Rover will follow. This means you can essentially 'walk' Rover as he'll follow the ball in his owner's hand or pocket. He doesn't like to walk in a straight line, by the way - more of a wobbly snakey action!
He can also play 'fetch' with the ball on it's red button mode, although he can't actually pick up the ball to retrieve it! Still, clever and great fun. When he gets to the ball he nustles his chin onto it and makes a cute woofy sound. The arrows on his ball work like a classic remote control.
In summary, the Robo Dash works quite well, albeit a little unpredictably.
Any clever features?
Yes - a couple of nice little features. Rover responds to gestures, for instance a swoopy 'wave' gesture will send him in circles, chasing his tail. A pat on the head or back makes his tail wag and his body grow and shrink.
I guess one disadvantage of Robo Dash is that it's not rechargeable, which seems a little old fashioned nowadays. But, its batteries are still going strong after about 30 minute's use today.
Value for money
At £60, Robo Dash is priced above basic automatic robotic toys, but far cheaper than digital, rechargeable robots. We felt as though £60 was about right. It has enough clever features to keep the kids (and grown ups) entertained and busy but it's features aren't too complex.
Daddy & Dad Tech Score
We're giving Robo Dash three stars out of five. He's cute, a lot of fun and interactive, but he isn't really clever enough to hold the attention of a tech-savvy 11 year old for more than twenty minutes or so. We'd highly recommend Robo Dash for younger children.
Disclaimer time! Here at the Daddy & Dad blog, we work with our favourite brands and businesses to supplement our everyday content. This is a #gifted feature, which means Silverlit Toys' agents supplied us with a sample Robo Dash to test out in return for our honest review. We'd like to say a big thank you to the lovely PR team at Energy PR x