The TankBot sees, grabs and runs

Cackles must be provided by human operator

Hmm. Bright colours, cute face. Evil?

Look, if robots do an uprising it’ll only be because everyone kept accusing them of planning an uprising. All this one wants to do is upcycle you, or more likely your child, from a three-dimensional realspace meatsack to a metatronic code-spewing warlock.

Well, OK. I’m not doing anything else this weekend.

Good on you. TankBot is the latest in UBTech’s Jimu range, but we’re excited about it because while the other ‘bots were equally cute – one’s a penguin with a bowtie, for pity’s sake – their skillsets were limited to servo-based leggy wombling.

TankBot has treads, for scooting about at a decent clip, plus an infrared sensor that enables it to sense and grab things with its manically clutching arms. Scoot, see, grab and run – if that’s not an adequately fun scenario for learning to code, we’ll eat our PiHat.



All this talk of code is giving me the maths sweats. 

It needn’t. There’s an app! And it contains all the kit building directions – in a handy, scrollable 3D format – plus pre-programmed Blockly instructions. Setting TankBot up for some sneak-thiefing shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two, from box to burglar. Half that for any householders under 20.

If you really get stuck there’s an in-app joystick control for manually controlling your ‘bot, and if you really, really get stuck you can tap into an online community of Jimu users. 

Sorry, I wasn’t listening. I was Googling for pictures of the penguin one. 

Now that one is evil. It is available at the UK Apple Store, where Tankbot is doing an exclusive introductory set for £144.95 (RM810). The others are available via Jimu’s website. All the parts are interchangeable so if you want to build a giant MegaTank, well, all you need is funding and vision. 

The Tankbot isn't currently available in Malaysia but we'll let you know once it hits our shores.