UPDATE: Our son Mack died just a year after I wrote this original post. If you have found this post helpful perhaps you might considering giving a few dollars to the Mack Brady Soccer Fund established in his memory.
I hope this post helps and have fun!
Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and
our his present is the Rover App-Controlled Spy Tank with Night Vision. You can now find this for $99.99 at Target, Amazon, and Brookstone itself. It is a great premise. From their promotional material:
Whether following friends and family, navigating the office or investigating the activities of your dog, it’s all possible with this audio/visual-enabled and photo-taking Rover. Its built-in microphone transmits sound back to your device in real time. So you can hear everything as it’s being said. The manually adjustable camera streams live video and takes still photos. Giving you total access to see what’s going on in other rooms. Even take pictures as proof. Low-light setting? No problem! The undetectable infrared night vision lets you see items in the dark. Mission. Accomplished.
The Rover Spy Tank is App-Controlled by your iPod touch® (2nd, 3rd and 4th generation), iPhone® device, or iPad® tablet. It generates its own Wi-Fi wireless connection for your smart device (no frequency interference!). The impressive wireless range lets it travel up to 200 ft. unobstructed, up to 100 ft. around walls into other rooms. Navigate it with the on-screen driving arrows or use the G-Drive Mode that uses your device’s accelerometer like a steering wheel in your hand. To get started, simply download the Free App from the iTunes® App StoreSM.
Sadly, almost as soon as it was unwrapped and powered up deep disappointment set in. The problem was the iOS app (sorry, no Droid version). The software is poorly written and there is no documentation. Furthermore Brookstone offers no support (well, they were nice, but no one knew what was going on) and, to my great surprise, I could not find the answer on the intertubes. So here I offer the solution in the hopes of making new owners a little less despondent and likely to throw their lovely tank through a window.
The problem exhibits itself in this way. You launch the app and immediately receive the following error: “Rover Connection Error Please Check Your Wi-Fi Connection.” You will receive this error even when you are on your own local Wi-Fi network. Why? Because contrary to impressions given in all the material I read, the tank is not on your wifi network, it creates its own!
Here are the steps to get it working.
- Turn the tank on FIRST and wait for the blue light to come on.
- In your iOS device go to Settings:Wi-Fi
- CHOOSE THE TANK’s WiFi – this is the key. The tank’s WiFi name will be a long series of letters and numbers, beginning with AC13.
- Now you can control the tank with your iOS device.
The fact that *nowhere* could I find this described on the intertubes was very frustrating and there was no help to be found on Brookstone’s site. Still, I hope this helps others because it is a fun device. Our cat is now petrified (she’ll get over it) and the “night vision” feature is fantastic. My only real negative (aside all the above) is that the camera, while it can move up and down you cannot control it remotely. It is also fairly poor quality and cannot, so far as I can tell, capture video. It can record a preset path that you can then have it follow. All in all, a fun toy that my son is currently enjoying immensely and I am no longer contemplating throwing out the window.
UPDATE: Nearly two years later this post still gets far more hits than any other here. Apparently people are still buying the tank! Be sure to read the comments for updates, particularly I note this one:
Jay Sulfridge: Be sure you have the correct app. There is more than 1 brookstone rover and the apps are not interchangeable. i would get the flashing blue light, launch the app, but connection failed. Downloaded proper ap, and works like a charm.
62 thoughts on “How to make the Brookstone App-Controlled Spy Tank Work”
If the blue LED does not come on, I am not sure what to say. It suggests to me that something is broken. It does take a while for the blue light to come on, almost 20 seconds on ours.
Just to clarify, there are two separate lights rather than one light that changes color.
Turn on AIRPLANE mode and WiFi. You will see the tank and this works! Suppose to work on Bluetooth but it does not so keep that OFF
I tried Bubba’s idea. No go.
The light on my Rover, Blue that is flashes I get no response from my controller Have Samsung Galaxy tab 3 I have app just about to give up no response from Brookstone Neville
You can only have an apple pruduct
I had the same problem with my Rover 1.0 and was confused about the reason because all the batteries checked good on the initial test so I left the Rover on for about 10 minutes while searching for a reason then I noticed the orange light was off but the power button was still on. I installed fresh batteries and turned on the Rover again. This time the blue light came on and I was able to connect with the app running on an old iPhone and iPad with older versions of iOS. This app will not run on newer versions of iOS and Brookstone has not offered an update.
Still looking for it. It looks like SOMEbody would write a control app for this. They sold a LOT of ’em.
Don’t know if this thread is still active, but I have a rover here and I’ve tried everything, but in my settings when I try to connect to the rover it just says, “No internet connection” and the blue light keeps blinking.
I get the ”Rover Connection Error Please Check Your Wi-Fi Connection” message and when I try again I get “User/password error, please check user/password and retry”…there’s not even anywhere to enter a password.
I get exactly the same problem. I am wondering whether or not it is connected to the latest OS upgrade.
You could be onto something considering every review I’ve read where people have had success are dated before the update. Unfortunately I don’t have a non updated device to test your theory.
I suggest you connect to the tanks WiFi that’s how it works and we had the same problem
I am not sure why comments are all out of order here… It was asked most recently (as of 11/12/12) if the iOS update could be the problem.
I can report that we HAVE used it with the latest update, iOS 6.0.1.
Thanks Christian. One possibility eliminated.
If I turn on my rover and wait until the blue light flashes, I can see it on both my iPhone and my iPad. I can connect via connection settings. But if I activate the app I get told “user/password error. Re-enter user/password and try again”. Of course there is nowhere to do this.
Interestingly I can log onto the Rover’s internal web site via
with user/password AC13/AC13
but I can’t see anything there to help me. I am beginning so suspect there is a conflict with the internal settings of my Apple devices so I will start chasing rabbits down that hole!
Just got mine to work! Try another app made by Electus Distrobution ” wi-fi video tank” worked for me.
Thank you thank you thank you!!
The ‘wi-fi video tank’ app works! I’m stoked!
Where did you find the app?
Thanks for posting this comments I was on the same situation than you were. Very helpfull.
Hello All. I have an iPhone 4s and have found that if I set it to aerolane mode and just switch the WiFi back on I am able to select the Brookstone Rover as a connection in the WiFi and all works perfectly. I don’t know why this is as it worked without all that messing around on my iPhone4 & my Wife’s iPad 1
Thanks, my son received it as a birthday present today. Due to your help he is now enjoying the tool. Thank you very much Dirk
More detailed technical info on the new version, which is very similar: http://techbloginator.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/spytank-teardown/
Rover worked initially and about week later stopped working. Won’t pick up rovers wi-fi, only get orange light, blue light wont come on anymore, tried new batteries, turned airplane mode on and deleted app and reinstalled, still nothing! Help!
Thank you for posting this information. I was very frustrated with the toy until I read your instructions!
My rover Ipod connects to the rover and the camera works and all, but when I try to make it go forward it drops connection. The weird thing is that it was working for over 4 months before that. I have never damaged it in any way and always watch when some one else is using it.
have got Rover controlled spy tank switch it on blue light flashes, turn app on envelope comes up not connected, go into Wi-Fi and go to add connection I can’t find the ssid. I have tried every number the model etc it is becoming very frustrating
Be sure you have the correct app. There is more than 1 brookstone rover and the apps are not interchangeable. i would get the flashing blue light, launch the app, but connection failed. Downloaded proper ap, and works like a charm.
I got this as a gift but I don’t have any iPhone or iPad. I have android and windows devices. Is it anyway that I use my bookstore?
Thank you for the information. Helped get my husband going with his toy.
This is exactly what I needed!! Thank you!!
I have a Brookstone App-Controlled Tank and I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 I have the app on there it has the screen and controls but nothing happen I been trying to get it to work for ages I don’t want to buy a apple phone or tab where do you find the Wi-Fi number too I looked every where regards Neville
OK you are all going to really like this post. I bought the Tank on E-Bay for $1.75 and the shipping was included. I don’t have an i-phone or I-pad, I have a kindle fire reader. So I went to e-bay and looked for an i-pad. Found an i-pad 4th generation with 8gb and paid $7.50 for it including shipping. Total outlay was $9.50 . Went to apple app store and downloaded the application there are at least three different tanks on there so pick the one that looks like the one you have and download it. I was having that flashing problem also and noticed on my wi-fi settings a new connection that had the name tank in it so I picked that one. The error message “wi-fi not connected” went away and the tank worked just fine. Just look in your wi-fi-settings and you will see the connection and it has the name in it also. Turn off airplane mode and connect to the new wi-fi connection and it will work. However I did notice that in order to turn left you use the right button and to turn right you use the left button. Confusing. Also Not much in the power department either slow , like it says “Tank” camera is not something to write home about either quality is below par night vision is cool but that is about it the zoom works pretty good and there are some additional things the Tank will do but I was really not that impressed. I am an RC guy and have much higher expectations for remote control things. I bought this because of the FPV (First person view) Like I said I was and still am underwelmed. . But for $9.50 what can I say perhaps it will work better outside in the open. If the camera panned and tilted and the thing had more power I might be impressed but it does not. All in all it is not something I would buy for myself unless it had some major improvements but for a teen or child it is a pretty good toy. The best thing about this tank is that it sure had my dog going around in terrified circles for a while. He just had no clue what to make of it. Anyway my first venture into FPV and I expected more. I looked up the selling price and feel pretty lucky at what I ended up paying for the i-pad and tank it was less than 10 bucks not to shabby for wht I got. And that is about what I think it is worth. I think I will stick to my RC cars, boats ,and planes
and drones they are much more fun and soon I will have some FPV gear to go with them. Anyway try the fix I mentioned and it should work just swell. Have some fun and scare the cat or the dog or bird or fish , maybe your wife or husband who knows. Would be much more fun with a speaker on it so you could say BOO on halloween. L8R
Ive tryed for two days to download rover 2.0 spy tank app.from brookstone web sight. My sons in tears because he wants to play his tank.can you help me???
go to a different web site and down load it from there. Try apples app store.
i just bought a used tank, I can hook up to it, the cam works, but as soon as I try to move it freezes, locks up and phone connects to another network. tank never moves. Any suggestions or should I throw it out the window?????
This may be used by the batteries being almost empty. They provide enough voltage for WiFi and the camera to work, but when the motors activate they drain so much power that the voltage breaks down, causing the WiFi connection to terminate (and your phone to search for another available network). Try a set of fresh batteries and see if the tank will move correctly.
CAUSED… not used… stupid typo.
That’s the answer! The airplane/wi-fi idea didn’t work. Turns out the original Brookstone batteries are weak anyway. A fresh set and it works again.
sell it on e-bay
Great idea. Or put in a fresh set of batteries, as I said over a month ago.
I have 2 tanks wont connect or show up on wifi but blue lights flash and seems to work help.
Does it work for an HTC
I’ve downloaded the app to my iPhone 6 and connected the iPhone to rover but i just can’t get the camera to work. On the controller the wifi signal is white not blue and the rover’s blue light is flashing very quickly. I can move it, but not see anything. Can anyone help?
My advice is try to unload that tank on someone else. Good luck getting it to work on a 6… it barely worked on a 3G or 4S. App burns the hell out of battery if it does work and then locks up constantly. No fun for more than 30 seconds at a time before it locks up. Total waste of money, and I bought mine a few years ago for 1/2 off for $50, I still felt like I got ripped off.
This is an order article, but I just purchased the Rover 2.0. It now looks different than the one in this post and it does record video. The instructions so include this information now. My son just opened this an early Christmas gift and we are all loving it! It is now $100 at Brookstone exclusively. I definitely recommend this product to any and everyone.
I have the Rover 2.0 App-Controlled Wireless Spy Tank are there any updates to the app as it will no longer work with my tablet or phone. I am thinking it is a software conflict since the only change to both was the system updates.
My grandson can not get one side of the wheels to turn. What can we do to fix this problem?
I have had an issue with getting it to connect, even though it shows up on my list of wifi sources. I finally figured out how to get it to connect in Windows 10. See my video to see how.
Thanks for the post! So sorry about Mark. Our hearts go out to you.
I wanted to note that under iOS 10 the tank will be listed BELOW the wifi networks as wifi devices.
Wo0w… Its 2019, December…almost 2020… and the current app works on the ipad air… STILL DRIVING THIS LITTLE BEAST! What is good: all features work.
what is Bad…its old school wifi, about 100 feet …thru a steel stud 2x driwall ..about 60 feet. It would be cool if you could wifi extend this…wail..Tello drone wifi extender,,, have to look into that. This first gen Brookstone toy is still going….
I have the original Rover in my basement and my grandson just found it. I also have an older iPad that still had the old app on it. I followed the advice above that said to turn off the Bluetooth and run it from my WiFi network. It worked fine. Sometimes the app freezes on us, but we just close it and start again. I want to thank you for leaving this page up. It was the only place I could find any information on this product that made sense. I am also sorry to read about your son’s passing. I know it was some time ago, but the pain is still there. Thanks again,
Wow, a year old post with NEW comments. That really means this Rover is garbage! In Nov 2013, I bought it for a Christmas gift. I bought the Rover 1.0 from Bed Bath and Beyond on clearance (the 1.0 version and the fact is was on clearance should have been a red flag) for $49 minus 20% for total of $39 plus tax… a totally bad investment. Reading all these posts of same issue with virtually no fixes (I tried Airplane mode fix as well as 3rd party apps, none worked). I think we should all agree that Brookstone sold us lemons. if this Rover worked, my kids would be happy, I would be happy and I’d be inclined to upgrade to newer model. Instead, I’ll just save my money for something else, not from Brookstone. My experience is 90% of their gadgets are fancy looking junk. You could go to a flea market and get same garbage quality, but you’d feel a little better because you’d only be spending pennies on the dollar vs. Brookstone. I knew this and bought it anyway… my bad! Since I bought it on clearance in November, I am waaaay past the date where I can exchange.
You have to use a old iPad like an 2nd 3rd or 4th edition. The rover has a WiFi network on own that it generates. And it starts with ac13 and it depends what app you have you have to use the 1.0 version rover app