Get a Robo Buddy home-security robot for $49.99

Normally $150, this remote-controlled, live-streaming vehicle can also be controlled remotely. It's like a webcam on wheels! Plus: Become an SEO master for dirt cheap.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

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If you can think of a better way to deliver popcorn from one room to another, I'd like to hear it.


Well, cheeps! This is it until 2017. As a reminder, I'm off tomorrow and next week, though you'll see a smattering of posts from me along the way. So let's close out the year with...Bluetooth headphones! Ho, ho, ho, just kidding. I think we all have quite enough of those.

Instead, I wanted to end with something cool and unique -- and I think this is just the thing. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Kmart has the Swiftstream Robo Buddy for $49.99 shipped. (If you can find something super-cheap to add to your cart, there's a $5-off-$50 coupon available from Ebates, along with 3 percent cash back.)

I honestly hadn't heard of this product before today, and the interwebs are surprisingly bereft of reviews. In a nutshell, it's an RC off-road vehicle of sorts but designed for indoor use, with treads that allow it to drive easily on carpet. It's controlled by an app (Android or iOS) on your phone or tablet.

But here's where it gets interesting: The Robo Buddy can livestream 720-pixel video via a camera that can pan up and down on front-mounted arm. And you can operate it even while you're away from the house. In other words, it's like a webcam on wheels. Thus, you can use it to check on or torment your pets while you're away. It can also serve as a kind of roving nannycam, letting you monitor babysitters, contractors, elderly family members and so on.

Cooler (or creepier) still, Robo Buddy offers two-way communication, so you can actually talk to people or animals at the other end.

Other noteworthy features include a night-vision mode, video and photo recording and a charging dock you can drive to. The vehicle is good for about 50 minutes of runtime, according to Swiftstream. Alas, it can't auto-return to its dock like a Roomba.

How well does it actually work? That's the $49.99 question. I did find this YouTube video review, which shows a lot of Robo Buddy in action -- though doesn't really comment on things like video quality or remote (or out-of-house) control.

If you have any experience with the product, please share it in the comments. For my money, I have to say it looks like a pretty tempting item -- especially at this price. Your thoughts?


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