Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Part I : Learning The Remote Control Codes

The first part of getting ready to control my with my pc is to learn all the remote control codes that are transmitted by the V2's infrared remote. I use the USB UIRT created by Jon Rhees. It is an infrared (IR) signal decoder and transmitter that connects to a Windows based PC via a USB port. It can learn the IR signals of most of the remote controls for consumer electronics devices like those that operate your television or VCR. The Robosapien V2 and most of WowWee's other remote control toys and robots use this style of IR as opposed to the IRDA protocol used by your typical laptop computer. This is a heartbreak because it means that you can't use the built-in IR transmitter on your laptop to control your Robosapien V2, or any other consumer IR device. You have to have a device like the USB UIRT to handle be able to control consumer IR devices.

Learning the signals of the Robosapien V2 will be a time consuming job because the V2 has such a large repertoire of movements. So many that, there are three shift buttons on the remote; SHIFT1, SHIFT2, and SHIFT3! For many of the movements you use one or more combinations of the SHIFT buttons along with one of the joysticks or one of the special buttons to trigger a desired move. This makes complete mastery of the Robosapien V2's suite of movements and special functions via the remote control a truly daunting task.

Conversely, it makes the use of voice commands and preprogrammed scripts almost a necessity to truly explore the immense variety and power of your new robot. I'll be using the USB UIRT in LEARN mode all day tomorrow, diligently recording each remote control command, naming it, and assigning it a verbal command phrase. Once I have done that, Robosapien Dance Machine will be able to take the command library I built, and whenver I say a particular verbal command phrase, play back the corrresponding IR codes out the USB UIRT to make the Robosapien V2 do what I want it to do.

In addition, Robosapien Dance Machine will allow me to chain the commands together on an easy drag and drop workspace and save them as a library of scripts that I can execute with a single verbal command. For example, I could create a script that makes the V2 burp, laugh, wiggle side to side and announce his plans for world domination, whenever I say "So what do you want from life?".

Much, much, more coming soon...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Voice Control Work For Robosapien V2 Begins Now

With the success of the Voice Control Demo, I am now officially beginning work on supporting the from Robosapien Dance Machine. Although it will be significantly more work, I am excited by the prospect because the V2 has such a vast array of movements and spoken phrases. This extensive repertoire of movements and sentences will allow for a wonderfully fun spectrum of comedy skits and robot plays using your V2.

You see, the point of Robosapien Dance Machine is not to give you the illusion that your Robosapien V2 is the next A.I., it's to give that impression to your friends and family. You can use the program to create extremely clever performances that will make your friends and family think your V2 is a genius. The intent is definitely not to fool anyone, but to entertain, just like a movie does. To get a good feeling for what I am taking about here, read The Art Of Voice Activated Scripting web tutorial. Stay tuned, it's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Things To Do With Your Robsapien V2.

Knitsu had an interesting post on the forum on things you can do with your
. Everything from playing with your cat, letting it watch TV, picking up objects and bringing them to you and more. He also has updated the vision hacks thread, with a progress report. No solution yet on interfacing the V2's USB camera to a PC, but more is being learned about the camera each day. Mark Tilden mentioned that the camera was indeed hackable in an interview with, but still has not given enough details so that the hack squad can get it working yet. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Robosapien V2 Fights Dirty!

Hello everyone,

This is a true story.

I put an object in front of my 's face. He said something like "I have identified this object as blue. I will put this on the ground." The V2 likes to put blue and red objects on the ground next to other objects of the same color.

I was wearing a blue shirt. He saw my shirt and started walking towards me. When he put the object down his gauntlet sensor poked me in the family jewels. He was nice enough to say "oops".

I saved myself several hundred dollars by not swatting him in the head. With my luck he'd store my assault on him and when the man-sized V9 came out, he'd tell on me and the V9 would disassemble me!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Video - Voice Controlled Robopet

I have succeeded in adding support to Robosapien Dance Machine for the . I can now control it with my voice so I don't have to bang out complex combinations of keys on the remote. Using any of Mark Tilden's robots is a lot more fun when you can use just your voice. You are freed from the mental task of converting your intentions into commands on the remote and instead, can just bark commands at your robot instead as you see fit.

This means that I will be controlling the with my voice very soon and will of course make another video to demonstrate it. I'm really looking forward to voice enabling the Robosapien V2 because he has so many different movements I can control. That will allow me to build long voice controllable scripts making human/robot skits a breeze to pull off. Stay tuned and keep checking this blog.

The Robopet Video is a 3 minute long Windows Media format file and is 6 MB in size.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Got A Sharper Image Robosapien V2 Today

I ran out and picked up one of the Sharper Image robots today. He's dark grey with blue LED's for eyes and black trim. I've heard people complain about the time it takes to unpackage the unit, but if you have a good pair of real wire cutters and a very sharp knife (be careful!), you can do it in about 15 minutes including battery installation. So far he's been more than hilarious and I'm dying to start using him with Robosapien Dance Machine. I almost never get the extended replacement warranties with electronics, but with my and this new V2, I got the two year extended warranty. Unlike a CD player or an iPod he has a lot of moving parts and motors that could wear out. I find it comforting to know I can just run down to the local Sharper Image store where I bought the V2 and just get a new one if it fails.

He has tons of functions; so many that the remote control has 3 shift buttons! I'll be able to replace all those complex keyboard combinations with simple voice commands, which will make interacting with him tons more fun. Of course, I will make a video so you can share the excitement and get a few laughs too. Much, much, more coming soon...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Improving the V2's Walking Ability

A new thread is working on the forum concerning making the Robosapien V2 walk better. Apparently the kind and weight of batteries can affect the 's gait. Some owners are trying exotic foot pads and more extensive measures to improve his walk. Although it's only a single report, one owner of both the regular Robosapien V2 and the Sharper Image V2 claims the V2 walks better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Robosapien V2 Hand Strength

The V2's hand strength is a vast improvement over the original Robosapien. On the forum there is a thread that discusses the Robosapien V2's hand strength and agility. He's added a video of the V2's hand in action. Knitsu had his robot pick up a half full bottle of water. You can see his robot swinging his hands and body with and without the bottle of water. Then he has the V2 pick up the bottle of water from the ground. The V2 is able to swing his body and rotate his hand with the bottle of water in it, all without falling down.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Well the robosapien version 2 advertisments have started playing on TV stations across western Australia so I'm guessing that they have started all over OZ.

The advertisement is similar to the Roboratpor's ad with two teenagers, male and female playing with the robot in various situations including what looks like a production line.

The robot's speech is featured throughout the ad with "who's your daddy?" being spoken amongst other things.

So this should mean that the V2 is due to roll-(walk)? out onto our shelves here really soon.
I'll Keep you posted when I see them here.

Image Recognition Tips and Flinch Response

RoBBoTT has started a thread on the forum that is leading to some good tips on getting the most out of the Robosapien V2 vision recognition system. Knitsu gives some tips on proper lighting and avoiding shadows and RS (the forum owner) discusses the V2's "flinch response", which happens when an object is placed close to his eyes when he is not tracking anything and causes him to activate his color recognition system.

Friday, November 11, 2005

More Delays On The V2

There is a thread on the forum that discusses shipment dates and delays is again reporting on web sites that have pushed back there Robosapien V2 ship dates. If you're in the states or don't mind paying some hefty shipping charges, you can get the Sharper Image Robosapien V2 which is slightly more expensive. There really is not difference between the units except that the Sharper Image unit is silver grey and has Mark Tilden's signature emblazoned on the body.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More Details On Hacking the Robosapien V2 Vision System

The expert hackers are really starting to dig deep into the inner workings of the Robosapien V2 vision system. On the forum, things are starting to get interesting. The vision system uses the SPCA500A Digital Camera Chipset. Knitsu already blew up a computer trying to connect directly to the USB interface on the chipset. You can find a detailed picture of the chip's pinouts on this thread and some important warnings on how not to interface with it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Robosapien V2 Infrared codes - (IR codes)

Robosapien pet has taken the trouble to document all the Robosapien V2 Infrared codes from the remote control. This allows chipset hackers and PC control program coders to control the Robosapien V2 as long as they have a way of sending consumer grade infrared commands to the V2. He even has a web page that shows you how to control a Robosapien V2 with a PSP (Sony Playstation).

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


> sprocket2cog`s blog has a post up about the perils of hacking the camera in the RS2 head.

> Knitsu of solarbotics ran into a small hassle that cost him his computer.

Knitsu of is hacking heads again..

LATEST NEWS. WE HAVE JUST RECEIVED A COMMUNICATION FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD THAT SUGGESTS THAT THE ROBOT UPRISING HAS BEGUN and this time he's at it with the video output on his V2. He`s trying to work out how to get the feed into his PC and create the first telerobosapien... well v2 anyway. I saw him yell out from here that his hack had hardly started when it went horribly wrong........

Keep reading this article

BX-24 Hacks for the Robosapien V2

Tom Handley, a power hacker for using the BX-24 chipset to mod Robosapien robots, has turned his keen attention to the Robosapien V2. On the forum, he has started a thread dedicated to using the BX-24 chipset to control the Robosapien V2. In his usual thorough style, he has included high quality pictures of the V2's internals, especially the circuit boards, and detailed code listings showing code for the BX-24 chipset to control the V2. He has several important notes about controlling voltage levels properly when interfacing with the V2.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Expert's Review the Robosapien V2's internal camera

There is a thread on the forums where the Robosapien expert hackers are beginning to analyze and dissect the Robosapien V2's camera interface. Super experts knitsu and jsamans are starting to figure out the camera's interface capabilities and wiring. Jsamans has posted a high quality picture of the internals of the camera's PCB board. With a little luck they'll figure out how to transmit the camera signal to a PC or remote receiver and we can all start having fun turning the V2 into a reconnaissance bot, or try our own experiments with vision recognition.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

RSV2 LED Eye Hack, Test

Hello, I have once again started the Hacking process for V2, doing some light Color LED Hacks, also adding a few TBLK2 to the + - of the Eye Cables to support changing them for further testing.... of various colors...

I used some regular LED from The Source, while I was in the mall this weekend, and found out that they are no good, due to V2 vision shell/mask being so dark and purple, these lights rarely glow outside of it, so it's back to the drawing board to get some UBLED, or better yet, multicolored UBLED ??!?!??!! ;-)

More Info can be found on the Domain on Knitsu's Expert corner@ === >

-Chance Brown
-knitsu (

Friday, November 04, 2005


Are you a roboraptor hacker, a pet owner or a parent of a sapien ? then you need to race over to the following link to add your name and pic to the world map from google maps to show us all where you are.


Thursday, November 03, 2005


Well if you get in before the
10th of november to aussie kmarts you can get some
free batteries (aaa x4) with your new baby, and
its only $299 to boot!
I was expecting around $350-375 going on the figures being thrown around the net from some online sellers and such.
but incase you missed it ..its on the shelves from the 16TH, or that may just be the preorders...
Free batteries for the controller and not a bad price, plus you get the added security of a major store chain. (coles myer australia).
oh and incase you hadnt guessed yet, i ordered mine so expect some reveiws and such soon.

( i dont endorse ant chain stores, just they have it out first so its worthy of you all knowing)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The wow wee toy site has opened up the v2 website for you to look at, its as "good" as the other sites for the v1 and raptor etc, minus the extra secret downloads for the v1.
But the 40 page manual to learn how to drive the beast is there as a pdf to download.

Check it out if you got a spare 30 mins to read though it. Its worth the time.
or straight here to get the pdf.


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