If there's one thing that Sphero's BB-8 droid has proven, it is the extreme adorableness of spherical remote-controlled bots. So when LG announced at Mobile World Congress that its flagship G5 smartphone would have an accompanying Rolling Bot that works much like a Sphero robotic ball, we simply had to go and spend some quality time with it.
Alas, the LG Rolling Bot is nowhere near as mature as the BB-8. It's operated using an app on the G5, though it doesn't seem to respond to all commands and sometimes only reacts after an elongated delay. This is because the software and the bot itself are still very much under development — LG anticipates having the G5 in stores by early April, but the Rolling Bot is still five to six months away. As such, its presence here at Mobile World Congress is primarily as a proof of concept and as a cute accessory to join the cast of so-called Friends that LG is preparing for the G5.
You can talk to your cat while watching it chase a red laser pointer
There's plenty of potential to this Rolling Bot if LG can indeed iron out its kinks. It hooks up to your wireless network at home and can be accessed from anywhere you and your G5 have internet access. Once connected, the little drone can remotely control your TV, audio equipment, and air conditioner, or it can use a laser light to distract your pet. With an integrated camera that can shoot 1080p video or 8-megapixel stills, 512MB of RAM, and a bundled 16GB microSD card, the Rolling Bot actually has quite a respectable spec sheet. It also throws in a microphone and speaker, so you can talk to your cat while you're making it chase the laser's red dot.
It promises to be an adorable little home guardian, but for now at least, the LG Rolling Bot is more like a BB-8 whose balancing and coordination circuitry has been shorted.