A couple years ago, when the original Robosapien robot, created by Mark Tilden, went on sale, there were no third party products. Actually, at that point, no one outside of the WowWee Robotics labs knew enough about the robot to even begin hacking it, or creating new software and accessories for it.
We bought one, and are very glad we did. Figuring out how to control it from our PC was a significant challenge that taught us a lot, though we wouldn't want to try doing it from scratch again. Fortunately now there are several million of the popular Robosapien robots out there, along with other robots in the series, like the RoboRaptor, and RoboPet. And, there are a number of third party solutions for Robosapien fans and addicts to chose from.
Independent developers have not only have cracked the control codes for the Robosapien line of robots, they have also taken the next logical step by building specialized software that allow you to control a number of the robots simultaneously. This allows the creation of complex movement and dance routines, as well as some robot-style stand-up comedy.
To give you a feel for what some of these packages can do, we've included two of their demo videoclips below. Both the Go-Robo software system from Q4 Technologies, and the open source RoboDance project software allow the user to pre-program sequences, and choreograph fairly elaborate routines. And, they both have the ability to control all the Robosapien brand robots released so far by WowWee.
They do use slightly different IR modules to blast out the signals from the PC to the robots. And both of the software systems continue to evolve and improve, month by month. RoboDance was recently enhanced to include support for the Nintendo Wii control - which means that you can wave the Wii control in the air to command the robot.
At the same time, the Go-Robo team has developed and is in the final stages of testing the Go-Robo Player package that appears to function similar to a multi-track control system that should make it possible to keep a whole corral full of the robots under control and in sync.
First, let's take a look at the RoboDance demonstration video with narration and original music created by the software developer, Robert Oschler:
Then, the Go-Robo demonstration music video created by the Q4 Technologies team, based on the "Lion Sleeps Tonight", a folk classic that traces its roots all the way back to 1939:
The bottom line is that if you want to get a lot more mileage out of your Robosapien robot(s) while having a lot of fun, we definitely encourage you to take a close look at both the Go-Robo and RoboDance systems.