Security cameras have a bad reputation — they’re dull, all-seeing eyes that are stuck on walls or put in corners. Who wants that in their home? But rather than going without, how about a mobile security camera that’s more fun than stern? That’s why Robo Buddy can be found zipping around your house, because it’s mobile, not sedate. And yeah the retail of $149.00 is worth it.
First, off, Robo Buddy isn’t some hulking robot — who’d want that skulking around a house? — instead it’s more like a dune buggy or ATV, with rugged wheels able to handle maneuvering on floors and carpeting. At the front is an adjustable high-definition camera (720p) for angling for just the right view, and at the rear a whip antenna for transmitting/receiving commands and data. To see whether you’ve angled the camera right, it has to be sending a streaming video image to your smartphone. So it does — through a complimentary iOS/Android app (the app handles adjusting the camera “on the fly” and can record photos and save videos).
Facilitating the streaming, the Robo Buddy has built in Wi-Fi for communicating with your home network. This means it can receive commands up to about 65 feet away from the Wi-Fi transmitter (i.e, router) providing there’s no obstacles, and up to about 35 feet if there are obstacles getting in the way of the signal. Wi-Fi also means that anywhere you can pick up the signal through your phone will allow you to see what the Robo Buddy sees. Don’t worry if the lights are out either because the camera has “night vision” capabilities (that’s also when its external LEDs show up best, but no one is around to see!).
So you’re sipping a latte at the local coffee shop and want to check that nothing untoward is going on at home. Run the app, connect to Robo Buddy and have it move throughout the house, stopping in the kitchen to check that you remembered to close the refrigerator door. You don’t have to hurry either since the rechargeable battery’s good for almost an hour of action. That gives you time to shout at the cat to get off the kitchen counter through Robo’s two way audio (the cat better not talk back!), or compliment the dog for not pushing his way into the bathroom again. And if someone is there, stop and have a conversation. Just remember to “drive” Robo Buddy back onto its charging station (or connect it after you get home) so it can power itself back up after you’re done.
Robo Buddy comes in white, has dimensions of 10.5 x 8.75 x 7.75”, making it small enough to be unobtrusive, but heavy enough at 3.9 lbs. not to tip over the first time it takes a curve. It can navigate on tile, cement and carpeting too. Just no stairs. It’s not confined to security either — use it as a baby monitor or pet watch monitor or for checking out the street through a floor to ceiling window. Or place a soft drink can into its “drink holder” space and send it off to someone thirsty. It’s for sure family members will get a kick out of seeing Robo moving around apparently on its own when you’re controlling it from afar.