R.O.B. (short for Robotic Operating Buddy) is an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System who has recently made appearances in a few Mario games. In Japan, he is known as the Famicom Robot, which is short for Family Computer Robot. R.O.B. functions by translating flashes of information on the television screen into physical actions (using technology similar to the Zapper Gun). R.O.B. was first used for the game Gyromite.
Players could control R.O.B. with the control pad to make him raise and lower gyroscopes. To make the gyroscope spin, the player must set the object in the gyroscope spinner and then balance it on one of the two round trays that are connected to controller two. Placing a gyro on the red tray lowers the red GATES; placing a gyro on the blue tray lowers the blue GATES.
R.O.B. is also the last unlockable character in Mario Kart DS. To unlock R.O.B., players have to win the Mirror Special Cup. In the game, he is one of the heaviest characters, his weight matched only by Bowser. R.O.B's symbol is a purple NES D-Pad. R.O.B. has two original karts are the ROB-BLS and the ROB-LGS. His karts are fast, heavy, and have good handling, which is uncharacteristic of a heavy character.
R.O.B. looks like what any robot should. He has a flat tread for legs, a thin frame with a rail on it so his arms can move up and down, arms can swivel, a black electrical cord going from his back to his "feet" but not touch each other (so how does he clap when someone wins something?), a black electrical cord going from his back to his "feet", and to top it off, a metallic head with blazing read eyes. Except for his arms and the rim around this eyes, which are black, his whole frame is white/gray, although he has different color schemes in other Nintendo games, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- R.O.B. appears to steer his kart by pointing his two arms in the direction the player is pressing on the + Control Pad instead of turning the steering wheel, meaning he conects to the kart.
- R.O.B. is the first non-Mario character to appear in the main Mario Kart games. However, the first non-Mario character to appear in the entire series is Pac-Man.
- In the Japanese and Korean versions of Mario Kart DS, HVC-012, the original Famicom robot, takes R.O.B.'s place. HVC-012 has brown arms instead of gray.