One of Tomy's consumer-level robots from the 1980s - a little brother (and basis for some internal components) of the Omnibot and Omnibot 2000.

The Verbot is voice activated via a hand-held radio unit. The user could program 8 commands by pressing the corresponding button and speaking the desired command into the microphone... usually several tries were necessary before the command would be recognised however. The functions were as follow:

  • Stop
  • Smile
  • Lift
  • Drop
  • Forward
  • Backwards
  • Turn Left
  • Turn Right

'Smile' elicited a show-off mode in which the Verbot clicked, whirred, and flashed its lights. 'Lift' would close and raise the arms and 'Drop' performed the reverse. Thus you could command the Verbot to do basic fetching and maneuvering.

The robot stands 22cm high and 16cm wide at the shoulders. The head is a clear plastic dome with a slight blue tint, over a moulded white head - replete with yellow eyes (2) and a red mouth opening. Additional lights crown the top and upper rear surfaces of the head. The remainder of the body is moulded white plastic (take care as this may turn yellow if exposed to sunlight with the arms and underside in blue. Two arms are mounted on rotating shoulders, and are sprung to pull inwardly. The hands are merely rubber pads on moulded paws at the end of the arms. During arm operation, the spring provides grip for objects within the paws. Locomotion is provided by two rubber-edged drive wheels - a ball bearing keeps the front up and the Verbot on track.

A 9 volt cell powers the handset - the robot proper is powered by 2 'C' cells and 4 'AA' cells.

Tomy also marketed an extremely similar, if not identical robot in Japan and Asia under the name 'Ki-Ku-Zo'. (caveat: this writeup was based on observations of my Ki-Ku-Zo and not strictly of a Verbot)

My Verbot is currently defunct - when powered up it malfunctions as though stuck on a command... so sad. Interference from other devices on radio frequency may be to blame - it has not worked since cellphones became popular.