Category Archives: Toys

CarBot : An RC Car You Control With Your Phone

CarBot is the world’s first micro-robotic toy that you can control with your iOS or Android device. It is made by Desk Pets International. To make CarBot go, you must get a free downloadable app and a SmartPhone adapter (which is included with the purchase of a CarBot). The adapter plugs into your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device. The micro-robotic car has a built-in battery. It also has a USB flip down charger.

There are several different ways to play with CarBot. You can navigate it through a maze, or you can find a way for it to get around obstacles. Race your CarBot against your friend’s or sibling’s CarBot. It is also possible for two CarBots to battle each other.

Desk Pets International has been named an International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for CarBot. You can check out CarBot in person if you attend CES 2013. Desk Pet’s CarBot will be on display in The Venetian at the 2013 International CES, from January 8, 2013, through January 11, 2013. The event takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

All Honorees of the International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards will also be displayed at CES Unveiled: The Official Press Event of the International CES. You can see CarBot in the South Seas Ballroom C at Mandalay Bay on January 6, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m.

Image by Desk Pets International

Powered Bodyboard

Design Icon out of Kowloon, Hong Kong, has created this great concept for a powered bodyboard. Driven by three electrically-powered propellers, the board’s deck has embedded solar cells to extend the battery life, while adjustable buoyancy lets the board both ride the waves and go completely submerged. I want one.

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept Deck

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept Snorkeller

All images courtesy of Design Icon.


GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

GoPro have announced the latest addition to their lineup of action cameras, the Hero3 Black Edition and it’s some camera. Capable of 4k video recording, albeit at 12 fps, and 60 fps at 1080p, this captures adrenalin-fuelled action in all its glory. Other features include burst modes, time-lapse, wi-fi video preview and a wi-fi controller.

GoPro Hero3


If you want to show off your extreme adventures, this is the camera to have. It’s pricey enough at $399 (£379) and there are lesser models at $299 (£279) and $199 (£179) for the silver and white variants respectively. As expected, there’s a range of accessories for attaching cameras to machines, helmets, bodies and other sporting equipment. The Black Edition will be out in November.

To show off the features of the Hero3, GoPro commissioned this film which was shot entirely with a Hero3. It’s stunning.

“Mermaids!” says my daughter.


Rubik’s Cube Speaker

Geeks of a certain age will undoubtedly remember when the Rubik’s Cube craze (or Magic Cube as it was originally known) spread through school playgrounds in the early 1980s. Building on the current popularity of all things retro, this Rubik’s Cube Speaker will bring back memories of success or frustration depending on whether you were able to solve the puzzle or not.

Rubik's Cube Speaker

The Cube speaker uses the USB connector for power and the 3.5 mm jack for the audio, so there’s no batteries or power adaptor required. Unsurprisingly the speaker is NOT a functioning Rubik’s Cube but you can try and impress your friends by saying that you solved it…until they spot the cables.

Available from the Science Museum Shop (and other online retailers) for £20.

Lego Bridge

In the Germany city of Wuppertal urban artist Martin Heuwold, aka MEGX, has transformed a dull grey concrete railway bridge into a brightly coloured Lego construction.

Here’s the bridge as it originally appeared.

Original Bridge

And here it is after the reconstruction.

Lego Bridge

Of course, the bridge hasn’t really been rebuilt with super-sized Lego Duplo bricks but instead the brick-effect has been painted on. It’s very convincing, though. Regrettably the Lego bridge can only stay in place for four weeks.

Lego Bridge

All pictures courtesy of Martin Heuwold. There are more on his website.

Nanodots Magnetic Construction at The Gadget Show

Nanodots are small but strongly magnetic balls ideal for playing and building shapes. About 5 mm across, they’re incredible tactile and once you start playing with them, it’s very hard to stop. They’re surprisingly heavy, but great stress relievers.


New to the UK, Nanodots come in a range of four colours – original, silver, gold and black – but they’re all the same size and fit together. Purchased in packs of 216 balls, there are enough to make small cubes, pyramids, diamonds and so on, but the fun really starts when you have lots of balls. Here’s a chess set.

Nanodots Chess Set

If you look closely, you’ll see that the chess pieces are on a Nanopad. It’s a magnetic mat that works with the Nanodots to help build structures that would otherwise be impossible (because the balls would slip or skid away on a ordinary surface). There are more amazing Nanodot creations at Dotpedia.

The Nanodots are available direct online and from other good retailers. Listen to my interview with Daniel to learn more.

Veho Mobile Gear at The Gadget Show

Pebble Power PackVeho probably isn’t the first name that springs to mind when thinking about gadgets but they have a sizeable range from miniature video cameras to digital photo frames and Bluetooth headsets. In the UK, their products are sold in the main big boxes – PC World and Currys.

On Veho’s stand at Gadget Show Live, I played with a USB microscope which showed magnified images on the PC screen. Perhaps a little limited with just two magnification levels (20x or 200x) but good fun nevertheless.

In this interview, James Farmer from Veho takes me through some of the Veho range, including their Muvi miniature DV cameras, Pebble portable battery packs and Mimi wireless speakers. I really liked their Pebble range of battery packs as they had a lovely smooth shape, like the original Palm Pre.


At The Gadget Show Live

Gadget Show LiveThe Gadget Show Live bills itself as the UK’s largest consumer electronics event and they’re not kidding. While not on the same scale as CES, it still takes over halls 7 through 12 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. It’s also miles to walk from the train station just to get to the entrance…

The Gadget Show

The day started off well….I met Jason Bradbury, one of the show’s presenters in Starbucks and blagged some free mobile broadband from him (thanks!). We had quick chat about the state of mobile broadband and he thought that Three’s MiFi was the one to get.

Jason Bradbury

Inside the show, there was just gadgetry and gaming everywhere. Check out the Xbox zone with row upon row of Xboxes.

Lots of Xboxes

Certainly 3D TVs were popular but I’d say that audio, and wireless streaming in particular, was definitely the flavour of the month. All the big hitters – Bowers and Wilkins, Sonos, Denon, Phillips, Sony were showing off audio solutions in one shape or form. And the single most common product were the portable vibration speakers – I must have seen about ten different variants.

VW up!

Personally, the best “product” was a test drive in Volkswagen’s new city car, the up!. In this particular test drive, I had drive into a wall. No, really…only the car detects the wall and automatically applies the brakes. It’s a low speed system that works up to about 15 mph and is really intended to prevent those minor fender-benders in slow moving queues.

Quite a few car audio specialists at the show too, including Kenwood and this tricked out VW Scirocco. The matt silver paint was eye-catching.

Kenwood VW Scirocco

On a smaller scale, Jumbo were showing off the modern versions of classic children’s games that are now available for the iPad along with complementary game accessories. I’ll be reviewing the games later on.


That’s about it as a summary of the day – it was a lot of fun but tiring walking around. I have about 20 interviews from a range of companies that I need to get on-line as well, so expect those to trickle out over the next week or so.



GNC Hits The Gadget Show Live

Gadget Show LiveNext week sees one of the major technology events in the UK with The Gadget Show Live at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Born out of the Channel 5 TV show of the same name, it combines exhibition space with theatrical performances, making it more consumer than business and a great deal of fun.

The show is the UK’s biggest consumer electronics event and there’s now a press and professional day at the beginning of the week. Fortunately I’ve been invited along on Tuesday so I’ll be reporting back on the latest gadgets and technology. Depending on bandwidth, I’ll try some live-blogging and I’m taking along a digital voice recorder too to get a few interviews. It’s the first time I’ve attended so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

There’s a list of exhibitors here though the floor plan is bit easier to handle as it’s split up into various zones – audio, gaming, automotive, photo, home and international. Many of the big companies are here – Samsung, Dell, Canon, EA, Sennheiser, AMD – plus quite a few smaller ones. If there’s any particular vendor that you want me to hunt down, just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best.

World Pride’s Spy Gadgets

Bluetooth WatchWorld Pride is unlikely to be a name that you’ve heard of, but once you see a few of their gadgets in the video, you’ll recognise them from the gadget stores and catalogues. Jeffrey and Jamie chat with Jim.

The team at World Pride visit factories in Asia and try to spot cool gadgets that haven’t yet made it to market in the US. They then work closely with the factory to refine the product for US consumers. On show here are examples of gadgets that World Pride has already brought or will be bringing to the market.

One of the watches in the interview has a Bluetooth receiver and when someone rings your mobile phone, the watch will display the name or number of the person calling. As Jamie mentions, great if you are in a meeting and want to know if you should take a call.

Other gadgets include a pen and a watch with a video camera built-in and finally, there’s a miniature digital camera. It’s only about an inch wide but it looks like a tiny point-and-shoot camera while still taking 5 MP pictures and HD video.

Interview by Jeffrey “Austin” Powers of Geekazine and Jamie “007” Davis of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show.

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1