In need of a stocking stuffer for a fellow nerd? Desk Pets just announced the retail availability of their TankBot toy, which is sub-$25 micro-robotic tank that you can control with your Android phone. The device charges via a retractable USB port and connects wirelessly to your phone using the headset jack.
A full charge only nets you 15 minutes of fun, but it’s still quite a deal for only $24.99. TankBot features three interactive modes including maze navigation, free-roam and remote control. The toy is also equipped with infrared sensors that allow it to navigate “twist, turns and around obstacles with military precision.”
The device is supposed to be available online, but I haven’t found any sites with it in stock. If you want to try and pick one up today, retail stores Radio Shack and Toys “R” Us are carrying it starting this week.
For the developers out there, Desk Pets has also open-sourced their Android software if you want to take a stab at creating your own unique app.
It’s been way too long since I’ve visited Toys “R” Us, so I think a trip is in order. If we can score some devices, a giveaway might be in the works.
Highlights of the TankBot include:
- Infrared sensors to navigate mazes and avoid obstacles
- Free app allows for smartphone control
- Free-roaming mode with interactive tank sounds
- Multi-player race and battle
- Retractable USB charger