Another entry for the category of Toys I Wish Had Existed When I Was Young: The Brookstone Rover Spy Tank.
Though, to call something that lights up this brightly when turned on a “spy” anything is a bit of a stretch. The rover tank doesn’t run at a whisper quiet either. But it is a very cool.
The best part: The Rover Spy Tank is controlled from a free app available for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. (Check it out in the video, below.)
The tank has a camera aboard as well as a microphone. Those beam audio and video to your Apple iDevice via a wifi network created by the tank itself.
That engineering decision—to connect via wifi, as opposed to Bluetooth or IR or another method—is instrumental to the Rover Spy Tank working as well as it does. Linking up with wifi means that you don’t need line-of-sight with you tank. It means you’ll have an operating range up to 200 feet (61 meters). You also won’t have any interference with other devices.
Best of all, wifi enables large amounts of data to rapidly invisibly fly between the spy tank and the controlling device. That helps make the remote control responsive, the video picture surprisingly crisp—and the Rover Spy Tank as a whole incredibly fun to use.
The Rover Spy Tank can also take still pictures and has an infrared video camera for navigating in very low light.
Our biggest complaint: Instead of using internal rechargeable cells, the tank runs on six standard AA batteries. Spot Cool Stuff recommends purchasing good rechargeble battery system—like this one from Duracell—together with the tank.
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My programmer colleagues would definitely like to give this a spin!
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