13 October 2015

Leopard Gecko -v- Robotic Lizard

What makes the best pet, the Leopard Gecko, or a Thumbs Up Robotic Lizard? We put these two old adversaries head-to-head on cost, companionship, and cleanliness then let you decide who comes out on top...
Watch our Video Review on the Handy Ideas Blog

For the bone idol out there the first thing you have to say about the Robotic Lizard is that you have to build it yourself, whereas the Leopard Gecko comes ready made and good-to-go.  The Robotic Lizard may be fun to make and easy to assemble (if you can be arsed) but, in all fairness, if you need a pet in a hurry then the Robotic lizard isn’t really for you.  That’s 1 – 0 to the Leopard Gecko.

Interesting Fact | The Robotic Lizard uses an infrared sensor to help it scurry away, and follow you about

Often described by Zoologists as unemotional, lacking empathy and even boring, the Leopard Gecko is a poor companion.  Mindful of this, gadget makers Thumbs Up have designed a Lizard to react to its owner’s instructions using special sensors. The Robotic Lizard can also flash you a little look with its sparkly LED eyes, and, if you want, Robo (we like call him Robo) can act all needy and cling to you like a lost puppy.  Robo Lizard makes a good companion who, unlike the Leopard Gecko, is prepared to interact and with a smattering of human quality.   We make that even at one a piece.

Interesting Fact | Unlike other lizards the Thumbs up Robotic Lizard, does not shed its skin all over the place

ADVERTISEMENT | I love writing taglines and slogans and I can dream one up for you.  If I write for you, whether that's blogging, tweeting, or Facebook posting you can use any tagline I create for free.  If I don't write for you can have your very own catchy tagline, or slogan for just £100..

Once you’ve built your Robotic Lizard, as far as running costs go, that’s about it.  Most people just switch Robo off and either put him back in his box, or put him on a display shelf where he’s perfectly happy just sitting there inert for hours - even days. The Gecko behaves in a similar way and sits motionless most of the time, but because it’s naturally fussy and demands extra shelter and warmth in the form of a heat lamp, running costs are high.  Feeding costs are higher than the Robotic Lizard’s too consuming significant numbers of insects and worms to keep going, while cheap-to-keep Robo only eats batteries.  Most people say they use rechargeable batteries to keep running cost down, but even if you go for traditional AAs, The Robotic Lizard wins hands down on running cost? 

Interesting Fact | Leopard Geckos originally came from hot dry areas in India

Can the Leopard Gecko turn this around on purchase cost? No chance, the cheapest one we could find was £69 so, with The Robotic lizard coming in at £30, so it’s 2 – 1 Robo.

Interesting Fact | Geckos are nocturnal and the best time to get a glimpse of one is 3am

Adult Leopard Geckos prefer eating crickets and mealworms alive, but inconsiderately these creatures don't always provide the Gecko with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The insects protest and the worms wriggle a bit, but Vets say dusting them in a vitamin supplement makes them much more nutritious.  

Can the Leopard Gecko win on stature? Well no, but it’s a close run thing. The Gecko varies, in length, but on average they can stretch to around 25cm, but 3 – 1 to the Robotic Lizard that’s a whopping 37cm.

Interesting Facts | Geckos eat crickets, small locusts, waxworms and mealworms

Both the Robotic Lizard and the Leopard gecko don’t mind being handled.  Unlike the the Robotic lizard though, the Gecko has been known to bite, or scratch.  With care, however, Geckos do provide considerable amusement for their owners, while we found that Robo prefers to be free to roam about and play.  On the pleasures of handling your pet we’re going to give it to the Leopard Gecko, but please hold your Gecko gently and firmly and DON’T drop him...   3 – 2 Robo.

Interesting Fact | Robotic Lizards don’t drink water

There’s no easy way of saying this guys, but, Geckos stink.  The good news though is that if you clean them out regularly they can be pretty much odourless.  With a good disinfectant and making sure the water and food dishes are kept clean daily, the Gecko can smell as nearly as good as Robo... 

To sum up: While Leopard Geckos are undoubtedly one of the easiest lizards to keep as a pet they’re nowhere near as needy, or crave the company of humans as other pets. Geckos are quite happy to live on their own and, frankly, make terrible companions.   As the Gecko is nocturnal, they are most active when its owners are asleep and because of this, they may be regarded as dull.  Overall, were not sure the Gecko gives a toss about its owners, but they live a long time and on those days when you just can’t sleep you know you’ll have a friend scampering around the Vivarium in the wee small hours.  On balance and despite having to build the Thumbs Up Robotic lizard yourself we think, as a pet, Robo’s a clear winner. One last thing, don’t buy a pair of Geckos, if they breed you’ll never find homes for the offspring.

Interesting Fact | Geckos don’t urinate and can live up to twenty expensive years.