WowWee Femisapien Review

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WowWee Femisapien Review

Walking, Dancing & Miscellaneous Items

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Every time a new walking robot is created I am compelled to critique it's walking ability. All of WowWee's previous humanoid robots used a sort of wobble-walk where the robot used it's weight while bobbing side to side to build up momentum for walking and turning. While being quite clever and very effective, it just doesn't even come close to the graceful and feminine walk of Femisapien. Her hips swivel when she walks, her motors are much quieter (still noticeable but easily forgotten unlike other robots), she turns in a stylish manner and can shimmy in a fast walk when she wants to.

NOTE: She must have a flat surface for walking and can not cope with carpet; she'll fall down.  But due to her relative small size any table or desk top is ample surface for her to strut her stuff.

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One of my favorite and one of Femisapien's foremost talents is her dancing ability. Femisapien was made to dance and she does it really well.  We've all seen the factory dance demos that come with many of the toy robots these days.  But why aren't there legions of robot dance videos all over YouTube, uploaded by thousands of eager toy owners to show off to their friends?  Instead there are only a handful of robot comedy videos with dance scenes and another equally sparse handful of high tech demos showing robots dancing that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; some of them well in to the millions if you add in research and development costs. It's because up until now, all the consumer robots made so far just didn't have the agility and speed to make it interesting; especially in the leg, hip, and torso area. 

With other robots, as well as Femisapien, you can time their movements to the millisecond and get the dance timing near perfect, but unlike the nimble Femisapien watching another robot slowly swing it's cumbersome torso left and right to a disco tune isn't very interesting.  Enter Femisapien. With her whip-like arm and torso movements and snappy stylistic arm flourishes she can really dance.  Words just won't do her justice here so in the companion video I've included the fast oriental fan dance scene from my "Robot Girl" video, an all-robot parody of Aqua's "Barbie Girl" song.  I rerecorded it so you can see her better.  The fan dance is raw video footage; no edits, timing tweaks, speed-ups, or slow downs were applied to the video footage to make Femisapien appear to dance better than she does. She really dances that well! See for yourself.

Easter Eggs

WowWee has seeded several Easter Egg behaviors into Femisapien.  Since most of them will be stumbled upon by users through their natural interaction with her, I am not listing them so as not to spoil the surprise. Needless to say you'll get a nice laugh and a smile when you bump in to them.

Cut-outs (Downloadable Accessories)

WowWee has created a set of templates that you can print out and then use as overlays for paper cutouts, to create accessories for Femisapien. The oriental fans I used in the fan dance portion of the video came from those templates, with some resizing on my part.  There are cutouts for swords, microphones, and many other items too. You can download them from the Femisapien web site, once they are made available online.  I will edit this review to put in the proper download link once it becomes available.  If you want to be notified when this happens, subscribe to our mailing list and you'll get an E-mail when they are ready for download.

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Props and Modifications

I haven't "opened her up" to see how well Femisapien will take to hardware hacks and modifications but as soon as the hacker community gets around to it I'll report on their findings. Femisapien is definitely going to be a hit with those who like to accessorize. Clothes are an obvious choice but I want to be the first to go on record with two cool accessories I developed myself.  The arm gun and roller skates! The arm gun is actually a shower aerator I got at the supermarket and the roller skates came off of one of those toy skateboards you can get at most toy stores. (See the photos below). 

NEXT: Conclusions and Pros & Cons

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Femisapien With Skates

Femisapien With Fusion Gun



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