One final note. I have to laugh nowadays when I hear the usual refrain from people who are impatient for the sci-fi future that many of us have long awaited with breathless anticipation. I can relate to them of course because I also read the nanotech, robot surgery, and other high tech stories in the press as they appear, wondering when the drastic changes we're expecting will begin to impact our daily lives in a more dramatic and direct way than just as news stories (despite the fact you can't find a home without a computer in many places anymore, you can download movies in an instant over the Internet, and there's a device in many kitchens that heats up your food using invisible radiation). But still, I can almost hear the plaintive voices in the night all singing the same chorus "Where's my flying car?". Closer than you think.
The problem isn't that the sci-fi future we've been waiting for hasn't gotten here yet. The problem is that the future we're expecting has just started to arrive and it's much larger than any of us expected. Think of it as giant ocean liner, a hundred times bigger than the titanic, whose bow (nose) has just touched the edge of what we call the present. We are like sailors trapped in a very narrow corridor at the entrance of the port. We can't see all of this great ship at once. In fact, we can't see much more than the tip. And although it's bigger than any iceberg ever known it's not the tip of one because this ship is actually moving quite fast and picking up speed all the time. But from our narrow viewpoint, and due to it's sheer size, it still feels glacially slow.
So where am I going with this? I'm trying to show you a watershed event as it is happening instead of you waiting for it to be written in the history books, so you can share in the fun of being a fellow witness. While you or your mother, and the vast chain of mothers before them, all played with plastic dolls that were motionless recipients of a child's imagination and accompanying accessories, the girls of today will play dress-up and tea time with a talented graceful and agile robot that will stimulate their minds and make them laugh with delight as their little digital playmates perform the skits and dances they teach them. Femisapien is the robot that the history books will note as the Great silicon grandmother of that change. In the meantime just have fun with her. She's amazing!
FINAL TIP: Learn to pay special attention to Femisapien's wrist LED's. They will pulse or flash at important times to help you understand when she is responding to something her sensors see and what mode or behavior she currently is in.
- A revolutionary interface consisting of touch, tap, and hand gestures combined with the elegant simplicity of learning by posing make Femisapien incredibly easy to have fun with right out of the box, without any need for a remote control. When you are ready to dig deeper into her features, a richer yet still approachable interface cleverly designed into her hands gives you access to them.
- For those incorrigible types that still want to use a remote control you can use the remote control that belongs to the original Robosapien to control most, but not all, of her functions.
- An extended set of skits that she can perform with other WowWee robots, especially the original Robosapien, gives you the incentive to acquire other inexpensive WowWee robots from the past and gives existing owners of those robots an extra treat.
- Performances can be created and played literally in seconds and learning how to do that takes only slightly more time.
- Easy on batteries, runs a long time.
- The ultimate robot actress for quickly creating scenes, skits, and dances for videos and friends.
- You can adjust her volume to your listening preference.
- Needs a hard flat surface, carpet won't do, however she's small enough to make good use of any table or desk top.
- Performances are lost when she is powered down.
1) Currently Femisapien times out after 4 seconds of inactivity when teaching her a performance sequence and takes that as a signal to end and store the current performance. This leads to a pressure to move quickly and can sometimes result in unintended errors when making performances. I would like to see a "Head Tap" learning mode where you can take as long as you like to pose her, and she will not store the movement until you tap her on the head. Then she will give you the acknowledgement beep letting you know the movement has been memorized. This would also solve the problem of trying to race through the manual to look up one of the 4-point Joystick interface commands before she times out. A slow head tap records the movement at slow speed (pushing on her head for about a second), a fast head tap for fast speed, and two fast taps to reset her position. This would be an alternate choice to the current time-out based recording method.
2) I would like to see a way for Femisapien to transmit the currently memorized performance sequence to a computer in an encoded infrared signal form; and conversely to be able to receive and store such performances. It would be great if people could share their performances with others. Sure you can make a video of your performance and share that with friends, but there is no way currently to give a performance sequence directly to another robot owner. Also this would allow people to save performances to their PC's hard drive instead of losing them when Femisapien is shut off.
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