Ever wanted to own the best fictional character robot (movie, television or book character), or at least an action figure that wasn’t lifeless but that actually moved by itself, or give you a wholly different experience than an ordinary toy or entertainment gadget? The Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper is a robot that not only performs as you’d expect a robot should but in the form of a favorite character and with a new level of entertainment through augmented reality.
Ever experienced those times when you have what seems to be a beautiful looking action figure that is articulate and that you can pose and move around with your hands… but wished it did more, like move on its own, such as if it were a robot?
The Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper from UBTech is such a product. It looks and feels like a large, high-quality action figure, but is a high-performance robotic device that can do a wide variety of standard actions, relatively advanced abilities, as well as come with features unique to it, providing for package as well as an experience you wouldn’t find with other such devices right now.
Early on, this product was panned and blasted by users after it shipped seemingly in haste for the holidays before it was ready, with features missing, inability to run on certain platforms (like Android), and multiple factory defects to name but a few. However, fixes and multiple updates appear to have corrected most of the issues, and now most owners enjoy and love their First Order Stormtrooper very much they use it daily and swear by (not at) it.
Review & Rating
- Good quality build
- Wide range of movement
- Plenty of abilities, including sentry (patrol) mode
- Good consumer AI like face recognition, voice recognition, and appropriate responses
- Mobile app provides extended playability and unlocks more features
- Gamification with multiple predefined missions
- Augmented Reality (AR) games and activities included
- Still a few kinks to iron out
- No SDK or programmable extensibility
After a brief stint in the firing line of angry customers when it first launched, UBTech's Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper got the updates and fixes it needed and now appears to be living up to its promise.
It feels like one of those holiday gift toys that people love, but this time, it is a lot more interactive, dynamic and has a host of modern features that include the ability to execute on some voice commands, recognize faces, operating modes, and completes its simulated experience through its app's augmented reality (AR) feature, allowing you to play with it in an interactive environment like you're inside it.
In stationary mode, it looks good, with its shiny plastic armour and a very polished look, making it good enough "as is" like people have gotten used to their action figures in the past. But we're not in the past and this Stormtrooper has his game on. It's definitely above and beyond classic favourites like Furby and RoboSapien (but only naturally because they were made from many years back, of course).
It's a different kind of "complete" experience, so that while we wished it was able to walk faster, overall it gets high marks no everything else, in a neat and clean package that uses advances in electronic entertainment, toy and device technology as well as robotics very well.
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- Item Weight: 4 pounds
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 6.5 x 11 inches
- Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
- Size : 11.02″
- Item Package Quantity 1
- Batteries Included? Yes
- Batteries Required? Yes
- Battery Cell Type: Lithium Ion
- Warranty: 1 year warranty against manufacturer defects
- Recommended Age: 14 years and up
- Package: Stormtrooper, charger, user manual
The Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Robotic Unit comes with plenty of features that would make a Sith lord smile with self-satisfied approval.
It looks great in itself, is quick to get up and running, and works well with lots of abilities including those you’d expect a modern-day bot should have. It works well as a standalone, independent unit.
But there’s more as well, including coming paired with an app (now in iOS and Android) for your mobile device that extends your experience in a wider, and an augmented reality (AR) experience that expands your playground to one that includes being “inside” the Star Wars Universe in the comfort of your home.
The Good : What We Like
It has built-in smarts that a (very) modern-day bot is expected to have, and more besides. The companion app extends what already doubles as an entertainment and functional bot into an immersive experience not common in such devices today (but are sure to follow).
It has facial recognition so it recognizes you (and two others) using facial biometrics to provide custom interactions, and has voice recognition so you can command it to do your bidding. It also talks and responds to your commands appropriately.
It has separate, useful and fun functions such as “sentry” mode so you can order (by voice, of course) your stormtrooper to patrol designated areas of your home.
Its infrared sensor detects irregularities of its terrain so it adjusts to different topographies (within limits) while on patrol and navigates steep drops by itself.
The companion app includes augmented reality so you can play with it as if being inside the story against the backdrop of your home and carry out preselected missions like fighting the Resistance by issuing commands verbally, launching attacks, and pick from different views such as first-person (with the unit’s camera showing its point-of-view to your mobile phone or tablet) or third-person for a fun and immersive spectacle.
The Bad : What We Don’t Like
It’s rather expensive and some features are still very rough around the edges and could use updates pronto.
It looks really good and works well enough that you wish and expect it to do even more.
It tends to be slow in movement (such as when it walks) and has a fair amount of latency between commands and the start of action.
Though this is understandable compared to more simplistic units that don’t have to work with so many different movements, abilities or physical joints and actuators.
It does not come with a programmable system or a software development kit (SDK) to extend its abilities, but this is possibly not just a good thing in this context, but intentional because the product’s target audience is the general consumer and Star Wars fan who wants to play with their robot in multiple dimensions (AR included) instead of a hobbyist who want to spend a lot of time tinkering with their machine.
Since its many updates by the end of the first quarter of 2018, this Stormtrooper finally lives up to its promise.
There is still plenty of room for improvement, and it isn’t exactly as versatile as full-fledged and dedicated robotic unit, seeing as this is more a cross between an entertainment and advanced action figure.
It also isn’t one like an “almost conversational” AI units such as Alexa-enabled devices.
But but it wasn’t intended for that. And for people who love things Star Wars, particularly those who have seen countless Star Wars characters and action figures that are lifeless toys, statuettes or glorified action figures that don’t really move on its own. Or if they do, do so in a very primitive way that eats at your boredom fast.
This one moves, interacts, has various abilities, and features that even go beyond the unit itself (and into a “whole experience” level with its augmented reality and app feature), it’s a step beyond the norm.
And for its purposes, it works very well. In fact, it shines.