Pros: Extremely low cost, tons of technology for the price, well-built, and fun!
Cons: Not fully autonamous, limited funtion, short battery life, prone to errors.
I am writing this newer I-Cybie review, because I have finally purchased all of the available accessories for him, and thought I would share my experiences.
After reading the other reviews, you pretty much already know what I-Cybie can or cannot do on his own. However, with some added accessories, his functionality has been greatly enhanced, for little cost.
Battery Charger Timer: This nifty little gadget fully automatically discharges and recharges the delicate batteries, without any need for having to "watch the clock". Makes charging the battery a breeze, and extends battery life to a great extent. A must-have for every I-Cybie owner.
Automatic Docking Charger: With this unit, and a special cartridge that plugs into i-Cybie, he can find his own charger when he needs to, and plug himself in. After extensive use of this accessory, I can safely say that he has no problem finding his own charger 75% of the time. The way he finds it is by walking back and forth in front of it until his infrared unit is in-line with the one on the charger, and he walks up to it. To spring-mounted contacts on the charger then make contact with the two metal contacts on his chest. Even though this is not always 100% accurate (sometimes he can't find the charger, and he gives up), it is still a really super-neat thing to watch him do. You can also demo this for anyone with a simple remote command, to show him off if you like.
Cartridge Programmer and PC Interface: This one is a little more technical and not as easy to use. For example, you have to download the programming software off of the i-cybie website after you buy this unit, which comes with the interface deck and one cartridge. The language seems very straightforward, as they have made a series of numeric codes equal specific actions. This can give you a wider variety of what your i-Cybie can accomplish.
CONCLUSION: Although the i-Cybie will still never be as sophisticated or versatile as an Aibo, I just wished to point out that i-Cybie owners do have options, and at least Tiger (in association with Silverlit) has finally released some of these! If you wish to purchase any of the above-mentioned accessories, you can do so by visiting the i-cybie website at www.i-cybie.com, and select the online shopping link.
NOTE: PRICE SHOWN is for ALL THREE accessories!!