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Wowwee Robopanda review

Primary school gadgeteers will love this plush mechano-bear, but does it do enough to amuse older robot fans?

Not content with revolutionising the world of robotics, WowWee has solved the problem of Chi-Chi the panda refusing to mate by producing a mechanical version.

Robopanda has whisper-quiet motors and doesn’t require a remote – the only way you can interact with him is by stroking its touch-sensitive ‘skin’.

Touch me, tease me

‘Touch my head for a story,’ says Robo-panda. So we do, and are regaled with an anecdote about a monkey. It’s hardly Proust.

The games mode is much more fun. Office favourite is the fiendishly difficult memory test, which requires you to touch him in a sequence of different places (no, not like that!). This later became quite a hit down the pub.

Not open to abuse

One of the cleverest things about the ‘bot is its 3D orientation sensor. It means ‘panda knows if you’re abusing him by, say, pushing him over, and he quickly prompts you to help him up.

No instruction manual is needed, as he teaches you everything you need to know in training mode.

Huggy bear

As well as the fancy stuff, he can sit, crawl and cuddle his furry mini-me, which comes in the box.

Mildly immature gadget-lovers (such as ourselves) will love messing about with Robo-panda and using him for drinking games; younger gadget-lovers will enjoy the odd hug. Although if the eyes turn red and he starts saying ‘kill all humans’, it might be best to go back to the monkey stories instead.

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Score: 3/5