WowWee Rovio review

Price when reviewed

The Rovio is a truck-type robot equipped with a mic and a 640 x 480 camera. It will receive commands – and stream back video footage – over any wireless 802.11bg network, using a web-based interface.

With a little router configuration you can thus use the Rovio to check up on what’s happening around your home from any internet-connected device, or with a dedicated iPhone application. The built-in loudspeaker even lets you converse with any intelligent life the Rovio may encounter.

A neat trick is the device’s ability to remember paths; it will even attempt to navigate around obstructions. And, when its mission is over, an infrared beam guides the Rovio to its charging dock.

We found it a little fiddly to set up port forwarding, so we could connect to the Rovio over the internet. Even when we’d succeeded, we couldn’t get video to work in Internet Explorer, although Firefox had no problem.

It isn’t a perfect home security option – it can’t handle stairs, and its noisy motor will instantly alert intruders to its approach – but the Rovio is an ingenious and entertaining toy.

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