Realised I put U-Bot instead of Q-Bot so I just edited the post.
Edit: looks like there's confusion over the name. I thought it was U-Bot and that's what Universal called it but, looking online, some sites seen call it a Q-Bot.
So, the last time we went to Universal my friend had a card that let us virtually queue for rides as she had a letter from her doctor saying she was unable to stand. The member of staff wrote the time on the card then added the current wait time so we knew when to return. When this time came we just joined the Express Pass line and in we went. However, they no longer offer this and advise you to get a wheelchair instead. Not suitable for us as walking isn't the problem, it's the standing still, and we'd have to push a wheelchair around all day. They did suggest though hiring a Q-Bot for the day at Islands of Adventure and sent us to the kiosk where you hire the strollers, wheelchairs and ECVs.
When we got there we were explained the following... The Q-bot is similar to the Express Pass - it's like a little Tamagotchi that lists all the rides available (those that offer the Expess Pass - not all do such as the Forbidden Journey and Gringotts) and how long the wait times are. You can book a slot for the selected ride and then after the wait time it will vibrate to tell you you're ready to ride. You can only book one ride at a time. There are two purchase options - single ride which means you can only use the Q-Bot once per ride then it's removed from the list; or unlimited which means you can use it over and over. You have to pay per person but you can have up to 6 people on one device.
Once you've booked a ride (you can cancel if you change your mind) and it's time to go on then you go to the Express Pass line and they 'scan' the Q-Bot. It gives a little vibrate to show it's connected then in you go.
It was great for not having to stand in line for ages but it still meant waiting in the Express Pass lines which can still be a while. Even with the Q-Bot we waited about 30mins for Skull Island but I'm so glad we didn't wait 90mins+ in the regular line for such an utterly shit ride.
However, the main downside to it was that quite a few members of staff had no idea what it was which was mind boggling. When we used it for Dragon Challenge I walked up to the Express Line entrance, showed the woman and she actually said "What's that?!" with a laugh. I said "Are you serious?!" then another woman appeared and said "Oh THAT. I hate those things." Then she told us that we could use it however it needed to go in a locker because you can't take loose items on Dragon Challenge. We'd already put our stuff in lockers so I had to go back to the stupidly long queue, unload everything from that locker, put the Q-Bot in my bag then queue to rent another locker. Brilliant. We did eventually ride. Although a few other members of staff didn't know what it was it did mean that they just waved us through without buzzing it so we got to ride more than once.
At the end of the day when we had to return the Q-Bot the guy at the rental place laughed and said "Ah the only Q-Bot in existence has returned!" because we were literally the only people who had rented one all day. No surprise really as I'm sure no-one else knows about them! There are no signs anywhere about them, no prices, no promo, no nothing. I asked if they were new and he said they've been around for years!
We told him about some of the issues we'd had and it was only then he told us that we shouldn't even have been standing in the Express Lines. The whole point of them is that you shouldn't have to queue AT ALL. We should have been taken straight to the front of the line by a staff member and shown straight onto the ride. So even that was wrong. We mentioned we'd definitely be renting one a couple of days later for Universal Studios. He said that he would be working there on that day so we should find him and let him know how our experience of using it went and he might look into refunding us.
**Point to note before going further - the Q-Bot is cheaper than getting the Express Pass by around $15 AND you're meant to be able to walk straight onto rides rather than queuing. I can see why they don't want to advertise this but at the same time they're still offering the service. We couldn't work it out but definitely weren't complaining on that point!**
Anyway, 2 days later we went to Universal Studios. We went to the rental kiosk inside the gates to rent another Q-Bot. We paid, got the paperwork signed then the woman went to activate the device. She was gone for ages. Then about 20mins later she appeared and was extremely apologetic. She said that each night the devices are meant to be reset but, for some reason, they hadn't and all the rides were showing as closed. She said she had called the IT people who reset it and they said they were about to do it so she was just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. After about 45mins she was really annoyed and took us to Guest Services where the manager actually gave us both unlimited 2-park Express Passes instead because we'd been left waiting and they couldn't get the Q-Bot fixed. Bargain!
We've never bothered with Express Passes before but they are really annoying to have to keep getting out and putting away. Plus, I had mine in my back pocket and it was getting a bit bedraggled half way through the day considering the humidity! Universal really need to get up to the same speed as Disney with their ticketing - Disney have plastic credit card style tickets or the Magic Bands (which I am in love with - I got a Star Wars one!) whereas Universal still have paper tickets for everything. And I'm not wearing a bloody lanyard all day.
When we were done at Universal Studios we went to find the guy from Islands of Adventure who took our feedback on the Q-Bot. He laughed when he saw us and we told him what had happened as he said the IT guys from Q-Bot had been that afternoon and taken all the devices away to be reprogrammed. He was glad we got the Express Passes to compensate us but he'd previously mentioned about refunding us from the IoA mixup so it was a bit annoying that we didn't get the device that day or we'd have had it for free. Never mind. And I didn't get any photos which was also annoying as I was going to take them at Universal for a blog post. In the meantime, I did find this - https://orlandoinformer.com/universal/q-bot-ride-reservation-system
Anyway, if you're going to either Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure then I highly recommend getting the Q-Bot. Just make sure you know how it's meant to be used so you can explain it to the ride staff!