The interactive R2D2 robot from Sphero is a really popular toy or collectors item for Star Wars fans and robot fans in their own right. Note: this is discussing the version from Sphero, not Hasbro.
R2D2 stands around 17 centimetres tall and has a lot of functions to explore. Connect to R2D2 via bluetooth using an app on your phone to control the robot’s movement (compatible with iOS and Android). If you have other droids such as the BB-8 you can control them all from the same app and they will interact with each other too.
The front leg can retract so R2D2 goes from tripod mode to waddling with ease. You can draw out a route for R2D2 to take or R2D2 has an independent “patrol” mode where he will go off and explore on his own. Careful he doesn’t waddle off the table!
The new “watch with me” feature lets you watch Star Wars movies next to your new friend who will react to the movie as it plays.
Although you control R2D2 with your phone, the droid has an inbuilt speaker so the sounds come from the robot, including sounds from the movies, as well as having LED lights that light up front and back.
The current retail price (March 2020) is around $64. Check here for current prices and availability.
This app enabled R2D2 robot has great reviews. People love the build quality, the authentic sounds and movements and the “watch with me” feature. The downsides are the internal battery cannot be replaced, but that’s the same with a lot of mobile phones these days. R2D2 will last about an hour on a full charge. A few people mentioned the transition from different surfaces sometimes made the robot trip up. Despite a solid build R2D2 is not waterproof, hardly surprising but given how sturdy he feels don’t try giving him a dip in water! Also, bear in mind the size, pictures may be misleading but you will see from the videos – R2D2 stands about 17cm high, but he packs a punch in his compact size.