Some of us just like to play with robots. Others love to build them. Still others seem to live just to tear them apart and see what makes them tick. The new RoboReptile robot from WowWee only recently hit store shelves in a small number of countries, but dedicated fans not only ran out to buy a few, some of them have completely disassembled their new treasures, and have professionally documented what they found.
'Nocturnal', who is quite well known to people that regularly visit the Robosapien.tk 'Unofficial Robosapien Hacks and Mods Forum' (see links below), has put together a new RoboReptile guide that covers almost every aspect of the new robot in an amazing amount of detail. In fact, we'd be hard pressed to think of something he hasn't managed to cover.
The robot guide starts off with a comprehensive user review contributed by 'Iguana', another well known active member of the same forum. Iguana gives an excellent overview of the robot, and gets into a lot of depth as he explores all of its moods and behaviors. Honestly speaking, his review of the Roboreptile, from the perspective of a knowledgeable and experienced Robosapien robot user, is much better than any of the other published reports we've run across so far. And, he doesn't pull any punches. For example, his conclusion section reads:
"The Roboreptile is the successor to the Roboraptor. While comparisons are inevitable, it is best to think of them as each occupying a different niche market. While the Roboraptor can be a friendly and aggressive pet, the Roboreptile is the true predator between the two. It is fast, agile, and belligerent. It rarely enjoys being petted and greatly resists hooding unless it is too full to care. Because it is very mobile and always hunting and exploring, I believe the Roboreptile is best left in Free Roam Mode. It is much less of a pet, much more of an untamable adversary."
Then Nocturnal, screwdriver and digital camera in hand, proceeds to disassemble, inspect, photograph, and document every aspect of the new robot. He starts with the unboxing process, which for some unknown reason is always a major challenge for WowWee robots. And, he doesn't slow down until every board, cable, bit and piece is out on his workbench, photographed, and cataloged.
He's included drawings of the RoboReptile's sensors - internal and external, diagrams of each circuit board along with pin-outs and cable connections and information on their functions, He even includes a table showing the robot's IR control codes and how they map to the Roboreptile's behavoirs.
And, if that wasn't enough, the robot guide also includes a fully documented hack to the Roboreptile remote control.
This is a great online resource. No matter whether you want to consider seriously hacking the robot, or are just looking for a reliable review to base a purchase decision on, you should definitely check it out.