Update: I bought one of the Sharper Image “Signature Series” Robosapien’s. It’s a mean, green dinosaur machine. My RC Roboraptor is a bit too ferocious. On medium plush carpet, when he does his lunge and bite animation he falls on his face! However, on regular carpet and kitchen linoleum, he just teeters a bit but doesn’t fall down on the ground. The free roam mode is hilarious and he is definetly a very animated little robot. I like the sensors on his tail, chin, and mouth, and the way he reacts completely differently to being touched depending on what mode he is in: hunting, playful, and cautious.
Another very cool behavior is how he reacts to sounds in Hunting mode. A fun trick to play on people is to leave him in a room in Hunting mode. If someone makes a loud noise or talks loudly, the Roboraptor will turn and look in their direction, which surprises your new guest and is good for a solid laugh.
Batteries: Unlike the original Robosapien who used “D” cell batteries in the feet, the Roboraptor uses 6 “AA” batteries in his belly, and 3 “AAA” batteries in the remote.
The Roboraptor robot is here and people love it. Aside from some problem with it’s walking ability when the batteries get weak, it has tons of personality and the modifications have already begun. Projects that we are aware include changing his feet for wheels and modifying his bite so far, with many more to come.
We are excited about the RC Roboraptor because it contains advanced infrared and stereo sound sensors, besides the usual touch sensors found on the original Robosapien. This opens up new
exciting opportunities for hacking and modifying the unit. There are other interesting experiments waiting to be tried, involving the use of the Roboraptor’s autonomous behaviors.
What makes the RC Roboraptor special is his flexible reactions to his sensors. What he does changes based on what mood he is in; cautious, playful, or hunting. If you touch his chin when he is in a playful mood he will nuzzle it like a happy puppy. The same touch when he is hunting and he will snap at you in an angry manner; like a possessive junkyard dog if you try to take his food.
One of the first hacks will surely be trying to augment his free-roam mode. In this mode, Roboraptor explores his environment. He uses his infrared sensors on his head to avoid obstacles such as walls and chairs, while stopping occasionally to listen for sounds. By adding a RF (radio frequency) transmitter to send his sound sensor data to a nearby personal computer, it will be possible to do advanced object recognition based on it’s sound profile. This would add the ability to identify objects based on how they sound, and move in different directions depending on what kind of object it is. For example, if it’s a cat, eat it, but if it’s a big dog, run from it.
Even more fun would be to trigger his different moods based on the same object identification.
If you are as excited as we are and wish to talk to us about the Roboraptor robot, visit our Roboraptor forum.
MUCH MORE TO COME! BOOKMARK THIS PAGE!