Nintendo Releases the R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) as an Accessory to the NES
R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) is an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It was released in July 1985 in Japan as the Famicom Robot and later that year as R.O.B. in North America. It had a short lifespan, with support for only two games which comprised the "Robot Series"; Gyromite and Stack-Up. R.O.B. was released with the intention of portraying the Nintendo Entertainment System as something novel in order to alleviate retail fears following the video game crash of 1983. R.O.B. was available in the Deluxe Set, a configuration for the console that included, among other things, R.O.B. and Gyromite. Stack-Up was purchased separately and included its own physical game pieces.
R.O.B. receives commands via optical flashes in the screen. Once it lights up, it is ready to receive six commands. R.O.B. only functions correctly when coupled with a CRT type television, much like the NES Zapper
All the Robot series games featured a test feature that sends an optical flash that should make R.O.B.'s LED light up. In Gyromite, Direct is a feature used to learn how to use R.O.B. or to play with R.O.B. without playing the game. Gyromite is a puzzle-platformer in which the character has to collect dynamite before the time runs out, with several red and blue pillars blocking his way. In Gyromite game A, the commands are made by pressing Start and then pushing the direction in which to move R.O.B., and using the A and B buttons to open and close his arms. If R.O.B. places a gyro on the red or blue button, it pushes the A or B button on the second NES controller, moving the pillar of the corresponding color. If both buttons need to be pressed at the same time, the gyros are placed in a spinner so that they will stay balanced on the button without R.O.B. holding it. Game B has the same controls, except that Start does not need to be pressed to make R.O.B. accept a command.
Stack-Up comes with 5 trays, 5 different colored blocks, and arms that the blocks fit into. In Direct, the player makes their block set up match with the one on screen by moving Professor Hector to the button that corresponds to the desired movement. In Memory, the player has to make a list of commands to make the shown block set up (R.O.B. follows the list after finishing). In Bingo, the player has to make the shown block set up (the color of the block didn't matter, however). There are two enemies, one which made the player lose a life and the other of which made R.O.B. perform undesired actions. Stack-Up, however, is a rare NES game, especially outside of the US. The Stack-Up accessories are some of the hardest to find amongst the NES's considerable number of accessories.
Here we have R.O.B., or Robotic Operating Buddy, from Nintendo, also known as Family Robot in Japan. R.O.B. is a small robot which sits on your desktop or floor, etc. He has 2 arms with 2 platforms on each arm. He has a few plastic disks and such he can manipulate (anyone have the specifics on this?) I believe he connects to port one on the NES, and you control him with a standard controller on port 2, though I can't be sure, it might be the other way around.
What is R.O.B. supposed to do, you might ask? Well, officially, R.O.B. is an interactive game interface between the game and the player. Basically, you tell R.O.B. to do stuff using the NES controller, and he does them, affecting game play. For example, you tell R.O.B. to pick up a block and he does and the game responds to this. You need to time R.O.B.'s actions with the onscreen action , since there is a delay in when you tell R.O.B. to do something and when he actually does it and gameplay affected.