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CNET First Look
Robotic power cord coils itselfWith advanced safety features and automatic cable retraction, the RoboReel is no ordinary extension cord.
What's up, guys? This is Antuan Goodwin and today, we're talking about extension cord. But this is CNET so, you now it's no regular extension cord. Let's take a look at the RoboReel, which is a motorized power cord management system. The body of the RoboReel is about the same size, shape and color of a basketball. It's a big sphere. It's held in place by this little plastic frame that also doubles as a carrying handle when you wanna carry it around somewhere. It's got the sort of rubber points where the-- it actually meets the ground. So, that combined with the fact that it's really low means. You don't really have to worry about knocking this thing over when it comes it's time to use it. Now, the top half of the sphere spins freely through 360 degrees, so you don't really have to worry about snagging it on anything. You just kind of whip the cable around where you want and the cable itself pulls freely from the center of the reel. Now, at end you get this sort of heavy terminal. You got 3 standard outlets, all of those are about 110, 120 watts, 15 amps of power and about 1800 watts of total energy can come through here before you start running into problem. Also had this indicator light to let you know that you actually do have used and at the other end, you got standards sort of male outlet that goes into the wall, that's fused so don't really have to worry about any sort of surge issues. The cable actually pulls freely and there's no sort of spring loaded pull back so you don't have to worry about snatching the tool out of your hand when you're in the middle of cutting from wood or something like that. When it's time for you to bring the cable in, you tap this button one time to shut off power to the RoboReel unit. Touch it again and a 180 volt electric motor actually pulls the cable back in automatically. That's a 2-stage motor, so it pulls pretty quickly at the beginning but over the last couple of feet it flows down a little bit, so you don't get distorted and whipping around all in safely. And users can customize the point at which it does slow down. So, if you wanted to slow down a little bit sooner, you can do that. It also has some safety features built in including thermal protection. So, you don't have to worry about it bursting in the flames. You got surge protection. You also got an automated cut off features. So, if you're working on something and this cable gets savored, the power to the whole unit instantly shut off, no fear of electric cushion there. And when the cable is being retracted, you think it stuck or snagged on something, it automatically stops then drag back, so you don't have to worry about knocking it over all sorts of things in your house or garage. So, it actually got 2 draw backs that I kinda wanna talk about here. The first one is kinda small, the other one, kinda big. The small one is that the RoboReel is kind of loud. When you draw the cable out, it makes a loud sort of a electrical motor roaring noise and when it's time to draw the cable back in, it make even more noise. Now, if you're in your garage, that's probably not that big of a deal but if you're using this thing around the house where people can be disturbed by the noise, you're gonna wanna keep an ear out for that. The other minor issue is the price. This thing is $279. Now, that's a lot of money for an extension cord, even one as advanced as this one. But, if you got pockets deep enough to swing it, perhaps it's worth it to never have to coil a cable again. You can check out the full review of the RoboReel over on CNET.com. Until then, I'm Antuan Goodwin and we've been taking a look at the RobeReel motorized power cord managing system.