Did you ever want an intelligent, robotic friend?? We know we sure did. Artificial intelligence has been captivating people since computers were invented, and robotic toys keep getting more and more amazing and advanced. Now, WowWee has brought us MiP, which promises to be an intelligent, robotic friend who doesn’t disappoint.
Technically, MiP stands for Mobile Inverted Pendulum. Geez. Now we see why he goes by MiP. That name is very hard to say in regular conversation. Less technically, a MiP is a humanoid, self-balancing robot. He stands proudly on two rubber tires that reminded us of a segway and rolls around in all directions.
MiPs are available in two color variations, black and white, and if you have two of them you can even battle. The MiP also can carry other items while balancing, even being able to support the weight of another MiP. That is not all these versatile little robots are capable of, however.
This MiP robot review will go into detail on what to expect when buying a MiP robot. What can MiP do? Should I buy him? Let’s find out!
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|Length: 5 inches||Height: 10.25 inches|
|Weight: 1.33 pounds||Material: Plastic|
|Works With: Both iOS and Android||Recommended Age: 8+|
So, What’s in the Box?
There are several items inside the MiP’s box. These items include:
- MiP Self-Balancing Friend, either black or white.
- Manual in many different languages.
- A stand: for propping up MiP when he is turned off.
- An attachable tray for carrying items.
- A Quick-start guide.
- Four AAA batteries needed to power the MiP.
The packaging for the MiP is sturdy, and the parts do not rattle around inside. One side of the box features a little illustration of the MiP, and the other side tells us a bit about what he can do. When you open up the cardboard cover, it is easy to see the MiP himself.
Opening the box requires a simple knife like a pocket knife or kitchen knife. You’ll use this knife to cut a few small pieces of plastic that are holding in the inner box. In the back of the box are the various user guides and manuals. The inner box slides out easily, and the MiP is held in place and protected by a few more pieces of plastic. After these are all cut, you are on your way to playtime fun.
A Closer Look at the MiP
The MiP is a small, humanoid robot. He stands on two parallel rubber wheels that remind us of a Segway’s. He has a trim lower body, adjustable arms and a small spherical head. This self-balancing robot is available in two colors, black and white. Each color has stripes of the opposite color to accent it and break up the monochrome a bit. The MiP stands at nine inches tall and weighs roughly as much as a can of soda.
The MiP is made of durable plastic which is good as he does fall down when he gets overenthusiastic as we discovered during testing.
Related: WowWee CHiP Review
WowWee MiP Video
Check out the video of MiP below to see him in action!
|- Great build|
- Variety of modes
-Easy to set up
- Gesture Sense technology
|-Uses up batteries pretty quickly
- Sensors can be finicky
What Makes a MiP tick?
The MiP Self-balancing Friend can balance his own weight. This is accomplished by rocking slightly side to side, much the way a bird on an unsteady perch will do. This rocking allows MiP to regain his equilibrium. In fact, the robot cannot stand up at all if he is not turned on. That is why the stand accessory MiP comes with is very useful.
The MiP also comes with Gesture Sense technology. This means that he is able to see hand gestures using the IR receiver located on his forehead. For added fun, he also packs a microphone on his head used for registering hand claps and other sounds, an indicator LED on his chest which is used for switching his game modes, a speaker on his rear and IR transmitters inside his pupils.
The MiP does not come with rechargeable batteries. Instead, he takes four AAA batteries which are included inside the box. These batteries are installed via a compartment on his back that is closed with three Phillips screws. Undo these screws and load in the batteries.
The MiP gets four to six hours play on moderate use and one to two days charge on low use. There is also a rechargeable power pack and AC/DC adapter set which can be purchased separately if you do not want to change batteries and a version with rechargeable batteries already installed can be purchased exclusively from Amazon.
MiP is not the speediest bot, but since he also has to balance himself as he goes, this is not surprising. MiP does .3 Miles per hour and can rotate ten times in under five seconds.
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What Does He Do?
Right out of the box, MiP can do a lot of amazing things. He comes pre-programmed with seven play modes. In default mode, you control MiP by swiping your hand away from him to make him move forward, toward him to make him move backward, across him toward the left to move left and across him toward the right to move right.
WowWee recommends that you keep your hand as flat as possible while controlling MiP so that he can understand what you are doing. Even with this precaution, the censors can be finicky. There will be times that MiP thinks you are wanting him to move one direction when you are actually asking him to go in the other.
MiP comes with six additional modes other than his default mode. These are accessed by turning one of his wheels and watching the LED light on his chest change color to indicate what mode you are in. As a bonus, the MiP makes a different noise for each mode. This would be extremely useful for people with visual impairments who might find the LED colors difficult or impossible to see.
In tracking mode, MiP follows your hand, regardless of gesture. He will also make cute snorting sorts of noises as he follows. It is hilarious to make MiP follow paths you are drawing with your hand.
The third mode is roam mode. In this mode, MiP roams freely around the room for three minutes. Make sure the surface you set your MiP on is flat. He cannot do stairs. However, he can detect obstacles in his environment and will stop or move accordingly to avoid them.
The fourth play mode, and our favorite, is dance. In this mode, MiP spin-dances to a funky seventies disco beat. Be warned, the dance music, like all of MiP’s sound effects is very loud. This is not the toy to play with in the middle of the night.
The fifth and final entertainment mode is tricks. In this mode, your MiP can learn a sequence of control commands, up to fifty. When you are ready for him to do the trick he has learned, just clap your hands or make a loud noise and MiP will perform for you.
MiP also comes with two mini-games that can be played without use of his app. These are cage and stacking. In cage, you try to trap MiP with your hands as he dodges and tries to get away. For stacking, attach the included tray to MiP’s front and start loading it with objects. MiP can carry up to his own weight in objects and still balance. See how many objects you can get onto the tray before he rotates and flings them all off again. MiP can also carry objects when not in Stack Mode. Be careful not to overload MiP. This can cause damage.
For more added play value, MiP can be connected via bluetooth low energy to your newer iOS and android devices. This app is free, and really does improve MiP’s playability quite a bit, giving him several additional modes. In default mode, your device works as a controller for MiP. Use your left thumb to swipe forward and backward and your right thumb to turn the MiP.
In Paths mode, draw a path on your device screen. MiP will follow your path.
In cans mode, there are a line of small canisters along the bottom of the device screen. Drag one to the top of the device screen and into the blue light at the top to see and hear MiP eat it. These cans are personality chips that will allow MiP to take on that personality attribute for a few seconds. You can make him happy, sad, confused, sleepy or party.
Battle mode and Boxing both require two MiPs. In battle mode, you are playing a game of laser tag with your friend and their MiP. Make your MiP dodge your friend’s lasers and try to avoid getting hit while hitting your friend. In Boxing, you control your MiP as he boxes with your friend’s MiP.
There is also a multiplayer stack mode that the app provides. This also requires two MiPs. The object of the game is to see which MiP is strongest by seeing which can hold the most weight.
Last but not least, the app also includes another dancing mode. Again, this is our favorite. In this mode, you can choose a song for MiP to dance along to from your phone’s music library. There are also buttons that allow you to customize the dance he does.
Our Final Verdict
That concludes our MiP robot review. Overall, MiP is a fun, interactive toy. His sound effects increase the personality of this little guy, though they are very loud. Gesture sense is still a relatively new technology, and at times MiP’s sensors are finicky. Also, he uses a lot of batteries if you do not purchase the rechargeable power pack. These could be serious downsides to some people, though overall the MiP idea is a brilliant one. If you are patient, however and don’t mind the downsides, the MiP could be a fun toy with lots and lots of play value.