Kid's Station Toys has introduced STone8, a new interactive robot for kids that features a range of sensors that allow it to move freely and interact with its surroundings. The robot displays an array of emotions, which change as you play with it. Its feelings are expressed by lighting up its eyes and changing the colors of its antenna. Stone8 will be happiest when shown love, though if dropped, it will appear scared or sad.
According to Kid's Station Toys, "STone8 is your interactive friend with loads of personality. You will need to take care of STone8 to make sure STone8 is happy and healthy. STone8 loves to be petted and tickled. STone8 loves to dance and play games and needs a friend to be happy!"
STone8 made its debut earlier this year at the 44thAnnual Toy and Games Fair, the world’s second-largest toy show, which was held in Hong Kong. The event, which was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, featured 2,100 exhibitors from 45 countries.
STone8 responds to motion and voice, therefore, using hand gestures, a child can maneuver the robot in any direction, though it will avoid any objects in the way on its own. It will also move towards sound, so if you clap your hands or snap your fingers, STone8 will return to your side like a loyal friend. The robot can also interact with other robots.
There is a STone8 app that is available to enrich the experience. The app unlocks additional games and features, including Sumo Mode, Patrol Mode, and Free Control. Its Body Mode can also help track the robot’s mood, appetite, health, and intelligence. STone8 has been designed for kids ages 6 to 12.
Hong Kong’s toy industry has recently regained momentum after an unimpressive 2016. The city’s toy exports were up 32 percent for the first 11 months of 2017, compared to a 24 percent decline in the same period in 2016.
“Hong Kong’s toys and games industry will continue to achieve steady growth brought by the technological advancement of electronic games,” said Benjamin Chau, the acting executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
There has been growing interest from adults in the robot market, both for children and themselves. “We think toys are not just for children,” said Robert Lou the chief marketing officer of GJS Ltd, one of the exhibitors at the Toy and Games Fair, which makes robots that can be controlled through mobile apps. “The adult segment accounts for 40 percent of the toy market in the US and 60 percent in Japan, but only 1 percent in China now.”
“Our demand stayed pretty steady last year, and is expected to improve this year,” said Peter O’Brien, director of an Australian importer, New Dimension Oz.
STone8, which comes in two colors – blue and purple, or pink and white, is available exclusively at Target for $59.99.