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Hands-on with WowWee's Robopanda: even grown men like bear hugs

Evan Blass

Sure we may come across as rugged and ultra-suave, but deep down we're really big softies, which is why WowWee's new Robopanda is such a refreshing change from the vicious reptiles and flamethrowing humanoids that the company's usually pushing out the door. Well we recently got to go hands-on with the cuddly-looking lil' guy, and we were smitten with both its friendly demeanor and tech cred. Featuring several touch sensitive areas as well as an accelerometer to measure speed (move too fast and it freaks out just a bit), RoboPanda offers numerous methods of interaction. We listened to it tell a story embedded on its proprietary, swappable flash chip, and emitted several "oohs" and "ahhs" as it cuddled up with its plush buddy (there's nothing more beautiful and pure than panda love). The best news is that -- contrary to what had previously been reported -- this model is indeed scheduled for a US release, ready to delight and entertain children nationwide. Until then, go ahead and grab a seat along with a few delicious bamboo shoots, and check out the close-up shots in the gallery below...

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