CHiP - The Smart and Lovable Robot Dog

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  • TTPM EDITOR'S REVIEW

    What It Is


    Dogs have always been man's best friend, but now there's a new best friend. Meet CHiP, a robotic dog that uses sensors and smart accessories to interact and play with you. You can play fetch with CHiP, teach him to sit, and give him kisses, and as you play with CHiP, his personality grows and adapts over time.

    CHiP, which stands for Canine Home Intelligent Pet, comes with a SmartBand, a SmartBall, and a SmartBed. You also get a micro USB cable, an AC adaptor, four wheel guards, eight screws for the wheel guards, a quick start guide, and instruction sheets for the wheel guard assembly and rechargeable batteries.

    Wearing the SmartBand allows CHiP to know who his owner is, so if you're playing fetch, CHiP will go get the SmartBall and bring it back to you. Or if you tell CHiP to come, he'll come to you. You can press the buttons on the SmartBand to make CHiP follow you around, repeat his last action, play soccer with you, perform a dance routine, play fetch, stop an action, or turn the SmartBand into a remote control. You can also press a button to make CHiP find his bed to recharge. When you do this, CHiP will automatically sense where the bed is and go to it.

    CHiP also has voice recognition technology, which means you can tell CHiP a variety of commands. Just start off with “Hello, CHiP” and then say “Let's Dance”, “Yoga”, “Love you”, “Sit down”, or “Fetch” to make the dog perform those actions. And CHiP will sense when he's being patted, picked up, shoved, or poked.

    When you download the free CHiP app, you can interact with the dog even more. Feed CHiP a variety of different foods, from the traditional doggie bone to oil, screws, and a battery. (He is a robot, after all.) CHiP will even send you messages through the app, such as “I love you! You are my favorite human!” Through the app you can even turn your smart device into a remote control for CHiP, sending him forward, backward, left, and right, and barking, sitting, lying down, and standing up. Because of the toy's unique wheels, the dog can quickly move in any direction and will even slide left and right.

    If you need reminders of all the things you can do with CHiP, the app also lists all the voice commands you can give CHiP and all the ways you can move and pat the dog.

    And if you don't like the name CHiP, you can even change the dog's name from within the app's settings.

    Is It Fun?

    This toy dog has all the lovable qualities of a real dog but without triggering allergic reactions or making a mess. Kids will really enjoy getting down on the floor with CHiP and putting him through his paces, and there is a lot that kids can do with CHiP. The dog was very responsive to our voice commands and did a pretty good job of responding to touch. It was easy to control the dog using the app's remote, and we really liked watching CHiP slide left and right. It's going to take some time for kids to become accustomed to using all of CHiP's accessories and discovering all that CHiP can do, but this process will be a lot of fun for kids who enjoy toy pets and robotics.

    Who It’s For

    CHiP is for ages 8 and up. First, this is going to be a dog that will appeal to kids (and adults) who are interested in robotics. And it's going to be a nice pet alternative for kids who have allergies or for kids whose homes are too small for a dog. However, it's going to be up to parents to decide if the amount of play with this toy dog is worth the $200 price tag.

    What To Be Aware Of


    Though controlling and playing with CHiP is actually pretty easy, figuring out how to do all of that may take some time and a little bit of trial and error. Kids will need some patience as they learn how to control their new robotic pet, but once they get the hang of it, they'll find that CHiP is a very easy toy to play with. The quick start guide is not very thorough, so you'll probably want to go to WowWee's website (www.wowwee.com/chip) for more in-depth instructions. You can also find instructions for the voice and sensor commands in the app.

    CHiP and the SmartBand run on rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries, which are included. The SmartBall requires four AAA batteries, which are not included.

    There is an instruction sheet that says you MUST put the wheel guards on the dog before playing. However, according to the manufacturer, the wheel guards are really more of a safety measure for families who have kids younger than the recommended age range. If this is going to be used only by kids over the age of 8, then you do not have to install the wheel guards. If you do install the wheel guards, note that it can be a little difficult unlock the wheel caps and loosen the wheels so you can put on the wheel guards.

    The instructions say that you can talk to Chip by saying “Hello CHiP” or “Hey CHiP”. We found that CHiP responded better when we said “Hello CHiP”. We didn't have any problems getting CHiP to understand the commands we gave after that. For best results, you'll want to make sure you're speaking loudly and clearly.

    CHiP works best on low-pile carpet, hardwood floors, and slippery tile. Do not use CHiP outside.

    The free CHiP app is compatible with Android and iOS devices with Bluetooth LE technology.

    Don't throw the SmartBall onto a hard surface. WowWee recommends just lightly tossing it or rolling it.

    (C) TTPM

  • This robot dog is so lovable – and loving, you’ll probably forget he’s not a real dog. CHiP is the puppy children are wishing for – if they aren’t able to have a real dog as a pet. Plus, he’s easier to take care of then the real thing. He’ll even find his “bed” to go to sleep and recharge so he’s ready for the next day of play.

    MSRP: $199