Robosapien Update with Video

Posted 20 Feb 2004 at 02:16 UTC by steve Share This

There's a lot of buzz lately about Robosapien, Mark Tilden's latest robotics venture. Dave Hrynkiw of Solarbotics sent us this update: "Solarbotics visited Mark Tilden at the Wow-Wee show room during the 2004 New York City Toy Fair. The Robosapien has been getting very high interest, garnering coverage in both the toy-trade and TIME magazine issues released during the fair. It's presently on pre-sale at (on their website cover page) for $99.99 (yes we know that Toys'R'Us / Amazon list it for $89.99, but we have it on good authority that they'll most likely not be getting it in stock before BestBuy does).We are fortunate to be the first to bring you video footage of what the production Robosapien is capable of. Enjoy!" The Solarbotics site also has plenty of photos and video of the development and pre-production versions of the robot.

The videos are great, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 04:38 UTC by roschler » (Master)

I've already watched 2 of the videos and I'm sure I'll watch the rest. Be warned, they will probably make you place an order for the bot.

Interface, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 05:09 UTC by roschler » (Master)

Just finished the videos.

If they don't come up with a PC interface to control the same functions as the remote I'm literally going to cry.

Super Hela Coool!, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 06:37 UTC by WhoPhlungPoo » (Journeyer)

I have no words capable of describing the joy I‛TM]m feeling after watching the video‛TM]s; for $99 I will be in line buying as many as I can sneak past my wife :) it certainly looks like a fun / hackable project.

Let us know, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 06:58 UTC by roschler » (Master)


Please keep us informed about your Robosapiens projects when you do!


newer link, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 14:37 UTC by aplumb » (Journeyer)

Here is the more recent WowWee toys Robosapiens page.

I saw Mark Tilden back in '92 (or was it '93?) when he came to Queen's to give a talk. Watching those videos brings back memories. It's not yet the robot army he's hoped to build, but perhaps the reason why we can't pre-order them here in Canada is that they're a controlled munition of some kind.?.

Well, I can only say its really pretty neat., posted 20 Feb 2004 at 19:33 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

I can only say its really pretty neat. Way to go.

Scalable?, posted 22 Feb 2004 at 19:44 UTC by while_true » (Observer)

Let me say first that this is probably the coolest toy I've seen in a while, orders of magnitude better than Lego MindStorms if it is programmable in some way or another.

I am going to get one, and it'll be walking around my office in the Field Robotics Center at CMU ASAP!

BUT, I have to say that I wonder how useful this will be other than generating excitement about robotics. Looking at some of the projects around here, it is clear that our approach is not doable by hobbyists. Further it would appear that many problems can't be solved by such robots.

For instance, if you wanted this bot to react to a human face, I could easily write a real-time algorithm that could identify a face in an image stream (look here for more info: )

BUT this would require a large processor, camera, and power supply. Would this fit on the RoboSapien? I'm going to find out soon enough :)

My point is that once you start to scale these things to anything beyond a toy, problems arise and the approach breaks down. I am impressed by the balancing act created by the large feet and good design. I am not convinced you can scale this to be more than a toy without taking the high road (non-BEAM). This is why I‛TM]m not actively trying to build a robot army to defend myself against Mark Tilden‛TM]s efforts.

What do you think?

Again, I love the RoboSapien already, and I'm going to get one :)

RE: Robosapien Update with Video. , posted 22 Feb 2004 at 21:18 UTC by kunal » (Master)

The videos are really impressive. And $99 is really cheap. Psst, how is the build quality? I hope its not made of flimsy plastic imported from China or something(no offence meant..)....;)

Everything comes from China now, posted 24 Feb 2004 at 14:34 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

Everything comes from China now. When my old Bosch "Made in Germany" drill finally went bad, I needed a new battery powered drill, so I went to Home Depot. I saw the Black and Decker drill, but I noticed it was "Made in China" on the box. Next I looked at the Bosch drills, yup, "Made in China" too. Then I looked at Dewalt, sure enough, "Made in China", then on to Makita, and there it was, "Made in China" too. Even the Skill Saw drills were "Made in China". I suspect they all are made in the same factory too. I wound up getting a new Makita drill and at home it passed the 3.5" sheet rock screw into a four by four test.

But I do agree, I hope it isn't a incredibly "el-Cheapo" toy, that only works for 5 minutes before breaking.

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