UPDATE (12-09-2005): For fast answers to Roboraptor pre-sales questions or technical problems, visit the Roboraptor forum. I have started a Roboraptor blog for people looking for the latest information, tips, tricks, pictures and videos of the Roboraptor robot. People have been asking for a centralized source for getting the most out of their Roboraptor, or learning more about the capabilities and quirks of this wonderful robot dinosaur. The blog is called the Roboraptor Review and all readers are welcome to leave comments or ask questions.
The more I play with my Roboraptor the more fond I grow of him. Of all of Mark Tilden’s robots, this one seems to have the most consistent and playful personality. The Robosapien V2 is by far and away the most complex with over 115 individual movements. The Robopet is quirky, disobedient, and hilarious. But the Roboraptor has a well balanced personality that changes intelligently based on the the three behavior modes he has: Cautious, Hunting, and Playful. His Hunting mode lends itself best to hilarious interactions with household pets and unsuspecting house guests. There’s just something about him turning predatorily towards a nearby sound and then pursuing it that really gives you the visceral feel of a live animal, instead of a robotic toy. Combine that with the responsiveness of the Roboraptor when grabbing his tail, scratching his chin, or interacting with his other sensors, and it’s almost like having a live pet in your house; especially since his reaction to those sensor touches changes with each behavior mode.
UPDATE (11-30-2005): Looking for the powerful and mysterious Black Roboraptor? This version of the robotic dinousaur that is taking the world by storm is available only from the Discovery Channel online store; the same wonderful people that bring you the terrific educational dinosaur television programs with their wonderful animations and archaeological fact finding missions. The green Roboraptor belongs to the kind folks at Sharper Image and the white Roboraptor is the commonly available one from Toys R’ Us and other major consumer toy electronics retailers. I have the green Roboraptor but many people are falling in love with the elusive Black Roboraptor because it hides scratches better. Since the Roboraptor is such a feisty explorer getting a little banged up is unavoidable.
Read on to learn more about this wonderful new robotic toy from WowWee Toys and Mark Tilden, the inventor. If you want to stay current on the latest tips, information, pictures, and videos for the Roboraptor, read the Roboraptor Review blog!.
This renegade from Jurassic Park will respond to your touch and to sounds in the environment. If you touch it’s face it will nuzzle your hand. The Roboraptor features three modes of play: Hunting mode, Cautious mode, and Playful mode. Roboraptor is in stores now.
The Roboraptor runs on six “AA” batteries, for the robot, and three “AAA” batteries that go in the remote. He has twin infrared sensors which allow him to avoid obstacles while roaming around your house. He has touch sensors in his mouth, on his head, and on his tail. His reaction to being touched will depend in what mode he is currently in. In Hunting mode he’ll roar and bite and gnash his teeth when touched. In cautious mode he’ll make noises and retreat warily. In playful mode he’ll do a little wiggle and depending on which sensor, will also nuzzle your hand or play tug of war with your finger if you put it in his mouth.
He has stereo sound sensors which allow him to locate sounds in the room. If you put him in Hunting mode, and you make a loud sound he’ll turn his head in the direction of the sound; this can be creepy and hilarious. Make the sound again and he’ll turn towards the sound. One more time and he becomes a full predator seeking out the source of the sound and pursuing it.
Voice Control With Robosapien Dance Machine
UPDATE 11-18-2006: I have added peech recognition support to my free open source Robosapien Dance Machine so you can control a Roboraptor with your voice, if you have a USB UIRT and a Windows PC. (Note: The USB UIRT costs $50 USD and is available from a third party who I have no affiliation with except as an owner of one of the units myself).
UPDATE 11-18-2005: I have now added support to Robosapien Dance Machine for Robopet which Roboraptor’s robotic canine sibling. I am smoothing out the interface and will be doing extensive testing, especially on the voice control interface. Using your voice to command Robopet (and soon Roboraptor) is much more fun and convenient than using the remote control and really improves the liveliness when it comes to interacting with your robot; especially when you command the Robopet to do tricks. Note: this is an in-house version I am writing about. It will be a few weeks before it’s ready for public distribution. However, in a few days I will be posting a video showing Robopet in action listening to my voice. Now that I have modified Robosapien Dance Machine to make it easier to support new robots, I will be rolling out support for the Roboraptor next, followed by the Robosapien V2. After that I will start considering other manufacturer’s robots to voice enable and provide advanced scripting support via Robosapien Dance Machine. You can follow my progress by reading the Robopet Review blog and the Roboraptor Review blog. If you have an RSS reader or are a My Yahoo user, you can use the “add feed” links on the blogs to stay updated easily.
Use this link to see a short Roboraptor robot video, taken from the CES 2005 show. It’s at the start of the clip.
You can also see several home-made Roboraptor videos made exclusively by members of the Roboraptor Forum.
- Information on hacking the Roboraptor including extended information on the robot’s behaviors and capabilities.
- Fun photos and the latest news on the Roboraptor.