R2D2 is one of the most beloved Star Wars characters throughout the entire saga. The Sphero App-Enabled R2D2 brings this character to life with magnificent design, elegant technology and lots offeatures that make it a must-have for the dedicated Star Wars fan. The first thing you'll notice is the amazing detail with which the character from the movie has been recreated. The technology, of course, is every bit as sophisticated.
To get started with Artoo, you'll want to charge him up out of the package. He comes with a gold-wrapped USB charging cord. (The design detail extends even to that!) Plug him in and give him a bit to charge up. Once he's charged, you're ready to start playing.
The Droids app (for iOS or Android) is free and required to bring the droid to life. Functions including basic driving, drawing paths for your droid to follow, a very cool augmented reality feature that allows you to explore different ships as seen through R2D2. Basic driving is very easy. Connect the app to the droid, orient the direction and then use the joystick to move the droid. There are also different expression controls, which are really amusing and add a lot of character to R2D2.
The AR function lets gives you a droid's-eye-view of the interior of the Millennium Falcon as you move it around. So you can pretend you've sent R2 on a mission. Like everything else on these droids, there's a bit of a learning curve but it's very cool, and as you're exploring, you'll find various photos and information about the areas of the ship you're inside. There's also a feature that will allow you to watch the Star Wars movies with this droid. We were unable to try that out prior to this review, but we think that's a cool add-on.
The app is really excellent with lots of Star Wars sounds and music. There isn't much in the way of instruction, so much of what you learn about how to use them is going to be based on trial and error and exploration. It's fairly intuitive, and there are some onscreen guides to help you along the way. There are a few things to be aware of. When you're driving the droid, hard, smooth surfaces are best, though R2 does work on very low pile carpet.
Given the price tag, though, we think this is probably going to be most for serious, adult Star Wars fans.
For dedicated Star Wars fans who will enjoy exploring, discovering and playing with these, it will definitely be worth the investment.
If you have multiple droids, you can connect them all to the app and they will interact in the Patrol mode. You have to switch between which droid is the primary one at any given time by touching the outline of the droid on the screen.
Running the droid in AR mode, R2 will still move around some. Be sure it's not on a table or desk where it could fall.
Speaking of that, though, R2D2 is super sturdy. We drove him off tables and desks (not intentionally) and he kept running great.
In bipod driving mode, R2 is more likely to fall over. One of his expression modes has him tipping over as he does in the movies.
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