JJRC R2 CADY WIDA (In-Depth Review)
JJRC is a company well known for producing RC products such as drones and RC cars but recently it has decided to venture into a new market — that of entry-level toy robots which are fast gaining popularity. JJRC’s toy robot debut includes three models all of which cost less than $50.
The smallest model in this lineup is the R2 CADY WIDA which sells for just $25 shipped at GearBest. Such an affordable price tag means the R2 is within reach of most people but is it worth buying? At a glance, the R2 has a strong resemblance to the much more expensive and sophisticated Nao. While the Nao V5 Standard Edition is available at a jaw-dropping price of $9500 (more than enough to buy a decent family sedan in many countries), it does offer class-leading features and artificial intelligence (AI).
The R2, on the other hand, belongs to a different class altogether. At just $25, it has features that won’t impress a robotics engineer. However, what it guarantees is a lot of fun and entertainment for kids aged 5 to 10 years.
- Gesture control
- Obstacle avoidance
- Approximately 1 hour battery life
- Infrared Remote Control included
- Sing and Dance
- Mechanical Voice
- Movement Programming
- Eyes with LED lights
For a sub-$50 toy, the R2 feels quite well built. It features mainly plastic parts, a nice glossy surface and stands about 10″ tall. Like the Nao, it has eyes that light up and blink depending on what activity it is performing. Speaking of activities, the R2 can play music and dance along. It can also perform “patrols” while avoiding obstacles along the way using its two front-facing sensors. Whenever it detects an obstacle such as a piece of furniture or wall, it will turn around and move away.
Other activities include a Demo mode in which the R2 will demonstrate what it is capable of performing. Music seems to be an important theme in almost all its features and the R2 is pretty loud when it comes to music or sound effects. Parents with kids younger than 5 years should be careful not to allow their children to put the R2’s speaker too close to their ears. The speaker is located at the rear of the head.
Supplied with the R2 is an infrared remote controller which lets you control the R2 and all its features. The remote control also allows you to manually control the R2’s movements like backwards and forwards motion.
One key feature of the R2 is its Gesture Control. With Gesture Control, you can command the R2 by waving your hand in front of it. Moving your hand towards it causes it to move backwards and moving your hand away from it causes it to move forward. Waving your hand to the left or right causes it to move in the direction you moved your hand. It seems fairly simple but this feature takes a bit of practice before you can get it to work properly.
This is because the R2 seems to have a hard time telling what your hand is doing. For example, it may think you’re gesturing it to move backwards when you’re actually trying to wave it to turn left.
Being a cheap toy robot means the R2 does not have the complex AI required for humanoid movements involving self-balancing or picking itself up after a fall. The R2 basically uses four wheels at the bottom of its feet to assist it in moving around. It doesn’t actually lift its legs up when walking. Instead, it skates around on those four wheels with its legs moving back and forth to mimic walking.
Due to its high center of gravity, the R2 can topple over easily if it rolls across small grooves or uneven surfaces. With that said, it is best to operate the R2 on a floor surface that is smooth and without grooves if you don’t want it to topple over regularly.
The R2 comes with a built-in battery that can be charged using a USB charger plugged directly into a port on its chest. With a full charge, the R2 can operate for about 50 minutes to an hour.
The R2 may not have the same level of sophistication and features as more expensive robots that cost $1000 or more but it sure provides plenty of fun for kids 5 to 10 years of age. It comes with a remote controller that lets you manually control its movements and activate its various modes such as “Sing and Dance” and “Patrol”. Costing only $25, the R2 isn’t perfect and it has the tendency to topple over while moving over uneven surfaces. Its Gesture Control feature is also something that can be very difficult to use if you don’t understand how it actually works.
Despite these flaws, the R2 makes a nice and affordable gift for kids who have an interest in robots and machines. It is available in blue or pink color schemes and can be bought for just $25 shipped at GearBest which provided the sample featured in this review.
For a limited time only, GearBest is offering an 18% discount for the R2 with coupon code RC18OFF.