The Skitterbot is a small robot that is powered by a rechargeable controller that you plug into a USB port. The bug is charged from the controller battery and a 30-minute charge gets 15-minutes of play. The little bots are about $20 and can be found in stores and online.
The Skitterbot robots remind me of little colorful cockroaches. The bugs can be had in four different colors. Each color is on its own frequency allowing several of the bugs to be played with at one time. If you have two of the same color there is a way to change the frequency between the four available for you can all play at one time.
The little robots are about two inches long and almost an inch wide. The bug robot itself gets power from the remote control and it takes 30 minutes to get 15 minutes of play. That 15-minute play estimate is accurate in my testing and playing with the green and blue Skitterbot at the same time had no interference.
The controller has a battery inside and plugs into the USB port on your computer to charge. Plugging the remote in for a charge is where I ran into a issue with the Skitterbot. The USB connector is retractable and has an indent when fully slid out that should keep the connector out to plug in. The problem is that the indent isn't strong enough to keep the connector extended when you try to cram it into a USB port. I ended up having to hold my finger on the retract button to get the USB connector to stay extended.
Once plugged in to the port everything else worked as expected. Once all charged up the little bots are a lot of fun to play with. They are surprisingly fast. The scurry along much faster than I thought they would. If you have tile floors as I do with deeper grout lines, you may run into an issue like the one I did.
Depending on how the Skitterbot was turned, the legs would fall into the grout lines and make the bug go in a direction other than where you wanted. They can be used on tile floors with deep grout lines, just be careful you don’t get out of control and run under someone's feet.
The controller is full function allowing you to control all directions with left, right, forward, and backwards. The catch is that you can only have one direction at once. That means you can’t move diagonally. When you press the forward button, the Skitterbot runs along until you press a different button or the stop button.
When it is going forward if you press the right button the bot will just run in a little circle until you press the forward button. I expected to have more control over the bot as you do with most remote controlled toys. That didn’t bother my kids at all though, and for my 5-year-old daughter it meant she could just make the thing run straight and laugh as it bounced off the walls and cabinets. In all the Skitterbots are great fun.
The Skitterbots have a few small issues that may offer minor annoyance, but the fun my kids had playing the little bugs more than made up for the hassles. These little robots are a lot of fun and you will have a great time with them.
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