What are some ways to play with Bots Alive?

Check out the Usage Guide video here!

How do I replace the battery for my IR blaster?

For all kits shipped in March or later, two spare IR blaster batteries were sent with each kit. See this video on how to replace the battery.

I think I set up everything correctly, but the bot isn't moving when it is detected by the camera. What should I do?

Here are a few things to try. First see if you can get it working in the "Set IR audio level" screen when you first start the app or press the upper-right icon in the main play interface.

  • Make sure you have the latest app version from TestFlight or the Google Play Store.
  • Push the blaster very firmly into the headphone jack on your phone, tablet, or dongle (that converts from Type C or lightning bolt). For this debugging, don't use the audio extension cord we supplied.
  • Make sure the phone or tablet's volume is all the way up.
  • Make sure you've picked the correct IR blaster on the initial setup sequence (you can get back to it via the top-right button). For all March shipments, choose the blaster on the left.
  • Make sure the bot is freshly turned on to the channel that matches the number on its decal.

[What's below is somewhat out of date but still might be useful.]

If it still doesn't work, the IR blaster might be pointing away from the robots (possibly because we told you to do so). Try using something reflective—like foil or the faceplate of another cell phone—to bounce the invisible infrared light coming from the IR blaster towards the robot play area. If that gets the robot(s) moving, consider taping or glueing foil or something similar to the IR blaster or ordering one of these ~$1-but-slow-to-ship right-angle headphone adapters (though be sure to get one with 4 metal bands, not 3).

Lastly, if it still isn't working, check whether you hear sound if you have the camera detecting a robot while listening on headphones (at a low volume), one earpiece at a time. As long as the robot isn't resting and the above bullets are followed, the app should be playing sound.

  • If you hear rhythmic clicking sounds in each earpiece and are using the IR blaster shipped in March 2018, try lowering the volume by one bar and retesting, and then repeating for a few more bars if it doesn't begin working. You can also try changing the IR blaster battery. If it still doesn't work after that, email us at info@botsalive.com.
  • If you hear a continuous screeching sound and are using the IR blaster shipped in March 2018, you've chosen the wrong IR blaster during setup. (See third bullet above.)
  • If you hear nothing, make sure you don't receive a message about your phone not being supported when you choose the IR blaster in the setup sequence. Please contact us at info@botsalive.com if you hear nothing and there was no such message.

How can I buy a new IR blaster?

They're quite cheap ($5) but difficult to find, since they are normally listed without a brand name. Here is a search on Aliexpress that usually turns up a few of them. Make sure it looks identical to the one we shipped you in March/April, except for the color, which varies.

As of the time of this writing, here are some individual listings that have the correct IR blaster: 1, 2, and 3.

Additionally, here is a Google Image Search that has some listings from other websites that you'll see if you scroll down.