It’s Christmas time and as usual this year’s must-have toys are mostly related to our soon-to-be robot overlords.
Here’s TLE’s guide to the most battery-powered fun you can have at the moment:
The must-buy gadget for spoilt Star Wars fans is no longer a light sabre, it’s now BB-8 – The Force Awakens new lovechild of R2-D2 and a high visibility football.
£129 buys you your very own Force Awakens co-star droid controllable by voice or app. Sphere’s BB-8 not only rolls about quite magnificently, but records important hologram messages and conveys a subtle range of emotions with its beeps and body language. Who needs children? This is actually better.
If you don’t want to pretend you’re on an important mission to save the universe from the Dark Side by escorting a droid with an important hologram message, BB8’s glow-ball little cousin Sphero 2.0 is a lot of fun too. The little hackable and programable robot ball interacts with your phone or tablet so you can try and trip people up with it, play augmented reality games with it or do stunts. It travels in water, plays games on your phone and lights up malevolently too. Will it catch on? Who knows – but we really hope that “Sphero” doesn’t become an acceptable name to call anybody with a round physique. £99.
If you’re after spying on your neighbours from above rather than tripping them up with a remote control stunt droid, the new Parrot Bebop 2 drone boasts a state-of-the-art full HD fish-eye lens camera. The quadcopter also boasts 25 minutes fly time – and endless hours trying to rescue it from trees if you’re not careful. But despite being able to muster 0-37mph in a lively 14 seconds, it’s easy to control with an app from your smartphone or tablet up to 984 feet away. £439.99
This is one of the smallest quadcopters on the market, and with a much smaller price tag of just £24.99 too! Weighing just 2.4g, the Soma X12 Nano is perfect for mastering stunts indoors or outdoors.
Hovertech Battle FX
And if you want to do battle with the drones in our skies – the safest and most legal way is to purchase a Hovertech Battle FX. It comes with two dart guns you can shoot it with and is easy enough to play with without injury after a few sherries. At £11, it may not be an incredibly sophisticated flying killing machine designed by Skynet. But it will definitely annoy your mum.