R.O.B. the Family Robot

R.O.B. the Robot

Another super rare gadget from Nintendo just like the Virtual Boy was R.O.B. the Robot. R.O.B. stands for Robotic Operating Buddy. In Japan it was called Family Robot and was released in 1984.

The R.O.B. functions by receiving commands via optical flashes from a television screen. With the head pointed always at the screen, the arms move left, right, up, and down, and the hands pinch together and separate to manipulate objects on fixtures attached to the base.

Gamers without experience might wonder how R.O.B. relays data back to the NES, and in fact there is no direct way to do so. 2 compatible games were Gyromite, also called Robot Gyro (Included with every R.O.B.) and Stack-Up, also called Robot Block (sold separately).

R.O.B & Gyromite

R.O.B & Stack-Up

In Gyromite, one of R.O.B.’s base attachments holds and pushes buttons on an ordinary controller. In Stack-Up the player is supposed to press a button on his or her own controller to indicate when R.O.B. completes a task. While the Robot Series games were among the most complex of its time, they were reliant upon the honor system.

Gyromite & Stack-Up NES Boxart

Here’s an interesting video introduction of R.O.B., found on YouTube:


2 thoughts on “R.O.B. the Family Robot

  1. there is an error in this text rob was sold in europe i have the french version

  2. Ok. I took off the wrong information. So there was a pal version, right? The early us-versions had a 60 to 72 pin converter inside.

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