The hottest toy of 2012, Roachbot, was released earlier this year amid great fanfare with its eerie resemblance everyone’s favorite kitchen guest, the cockroach.  But as Japan enters the middle of cockroach season, we find ourselves casting aside our robotic roaches to play with the real ones.

Sensing this, Japan Trust Technologies have given it a severe amping up, including support for the iPhone and iPad.

By downloading and installing an exclusive app for your Apple smartphone or tablet device and attaching the infrared light, you can turn it into a controller using the touch screen.  This is great since I often love taking my Roachbot out for a walk to pick up chicks, but it was always a nuisance to carry around that extra controller.

But that’s not all! With the new controller also comes some added control features.  There’s a throttle with allows you to precisely adjust your Roachbot’s cruising speed up to a maximum velocity that was unheard of with the previous model.

The new controls also have a “Trim Correction Slider” which allows you to make slight adjustments to the Roachbots course while going straight, rather than the old hard left/right turns.  This can be especially useful when utilizing the “Gryo Controls” which lets you maneuver your Roachbot simply by tilting your iPhone or iPad.

Since writing the last article I was surprised to learn that some people actually don’t like cockroaches.  They must be a minority considering the worldwide demand for Roachbot (JTT has added a message to their site saying that international orders are not possible).

The makers of Roachbot must have gotten the same feedback and released this statement:

  “Roachbot scrambles around realistically and gives the same sensation of finding one of those intolerable pests.  However, with a little time, that intolerance could turn to affection.  Even for people who truly hate cockroaches, this is a chance to step into their shoes and learn to like them.” [From JTT's online store]

The new Roachbot model called Gakiraji in Japanese comes in various packages starting at 2980 yen (US$37).

Source: Gakiraji!! for iPad/iPhone USB Infrared RC via IT Media (Japanese)

▼The controls are more advanced and precise.

▼The trim corrector keeps your roachbot on course.

▼But it’s still has all the fun of the original roachbot.