Desk Pets International ( — a creator of interactive micro-robotic toys and gadgets with big-play value — has unveiled TankBot, a sub-US$20 micro-robotic toy that can be controlled by your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. 

TankBot’s three modes allow it to navigate mazes, roam, and be fully controllable by your Apple device. With a built-in USB charger, battery cost is non-existent, giving TankBot hours of inexpensive playtime. Not available until June, TankBot will make its first public appearance at this year’s Toy Fair in New York City on Feb. 13-16.

Desk Pets has revolutionized remote control toys by connecting their most recent micro-robot to today’s latest mobile technology. Each TankBot features a dongle that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Utilizing Apple’s accelerometer technology, Desk Pets developed a program that enables TankBot to be controlled by simply tilting your mobile device.

Tilt the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch forward and TankBot rolls forward, angle the phone right and TankBot instantly makes a right turn. Switch to autonomous mode and using built-in IR sensors, TankBot can navigate a maze, avoid obstacles and interact with the users hand motions, all on its own.