When I was a kid (yeah - that long ago), it was really cool to buy metal taps and attach them to the soles of your shoes. I couldn't dance - still can't - but that was beside the point. With those taps on my shoes everyone at school was absolutely convinced that I must be able to tap dance - why else would I have spent the money to buy taps?
Cjbchacha's tap (bottle cap) hack for the Roboraptor
Some robots might actually be capable of tap dancing. Asimo, for example, can run to the point that he sometimes has both feet off the ground at the same time. But, most robots, especially the robots that are cheap enough so the average person can afford one, have some traction and stability limitations when we ask them to operate on different surfaces. It's normal enough. If you have a R/C race car from Radio Shack you're not surprised if it gets bogged down on the thick pile carpet in your living room. So, you take it into the kitchen, or outside to play with.
But, for some reason, people expect that walking robots shouldn't have the same difficulty when walking on carpet, or wood flooring, or any surface for that matter. It's probably because we walk and because it walks also, we expect it to get around just as easily as we do.
Many Roboraptor, and Robosapien V2 owners have been reporting difficulty with their robots walking on different surfaces. And there's been a lot of hacking and experimenting to see what can be done about it. Of course some of the hacks modify the robots to the point that they void the original warranties, while others hacks take a kinder, gentler approach.
Robert, the owner/manager of the Evosapien website and an
rabid avid robot experimenter, has been following the reports and recently posted a very useful article that reviews some of the things people have come up with to solve the perceived problems. One of the most creative hacks, developed by Cjbchacha, involves mounting inverted bottle caps on the Roboraptor's toes.
Now if he can only get it to tap dance....