We’re not saying that the Romo device that turns your iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c into a marauding robot on tiny tank treads is a bad idea, but we’re not sure that it’s a good idea, either. What we do know is that it costs $150, it comes from Brookstone, and it’s meant to be a trainable, adorable remote stand-in for a real pet or a substitute for interaction with your family members. “Dad can go room to room to say good night while away on business,” boasts the product’s suggested uses. As long as there are no stairs in the way. Another suggested use: “Invite friends and family anywhere in the world to control your Romo remotely while streaming 2-way video and audio.” This would be cheaper than a plane and hotel to the next wedding I’m invited to: do you think someone would set the robot down in a good spot if I dressed it in chiffon and mailed it to the venue?
Stephen Colbert tried to replace one of his interns with a rolling iPad version of a similar device and found it wanting. Mostly because a key part of fetching coffee is bringing it up the stairs.