RoboDance Fundraiser Hot Domain Auction

robosapien robot dance

Software development isn't cheap, and it's particularly difficult if you happen to be a sole developer committed to supporting and enhancing a popular open source software project out of your own pocket.

For years Robert Oschler has contributed to the robot community in many ways, including freely sharing his knowledge and expertise, creating hilariously entertaining robot videos and unique new robot songs, in addition to developing the RoboDance project that enables users to control a wide range of robots from their PC or other devices. He's even gone to the extreme of adding voice recognition capability and Skype functionality to the open source system.

While his dedication and commitment to the project have brought him some level of recognition and fame, like being featured in the New York TImes, it hasn't attracted funding to underwrite the project. As a result, he's putting several very attractive internet domains on the auction block, including potentially strong SEO ranking properties like AndroidBlogs.com, AndroidJob.com, WomanBlogger.com, and WomanWorker.com.

It's a great chance for the right person to pickup a hot, highly relevant, domain at bargain pricing, while helping out the robot community in the process.

(Via RoboDance fundraiser.)

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RoboDance Support Opportunity – Please Help

Robert Oschler has done a fantastic job of single-handedly developing the RoboDance application that allows users of almost every WowWee robot, and some other manufacturers robots like the popular Takara/TOMY iSOBOT, control their bots remotely using their computer, voice, WiiMote, and even mind control using the Emotiv EPOC EEG headset.

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For four consecutive years Robert labored diligently to produce each annual feature packed new RoboDance release, funding everything out of his own pocket and contributing all the work to the open source community so that everyone would benefit. It's been a labor of love.

But, as wonderful and powerful as love is, we all still need food, warmth, and a roof over our heads. Even robots have to pay for electricity to recharge their batteries and oil to lubricate their joints. So, to help "keep the lights on" and continue RoboDance development, Robert has put out a call for support.

There are several ways supporters can help. Robert has a number of Internet domains up for sale, including one that should be extremely attractive to anyone in the Google Android community. It's a great chance to lock down a strong domain while supporting a very worthy cause. Or if you prefer just click on the donate link on the RoboDance Fundraiser page and send Robert as much as you feel comfortable giving. I'm sure he will welcome, and acknowledge, all contributions no matter how big or small.

http://www.robodance.com/fundraiser.php

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Femisapien/EMA: A Great Robot Concept Still Waiting For Success

Ema robot

Every robot designer loves their own creations, at least at the beginning, and they often find it difficult to understand why other people aren’t as enraptured with the beauty and wonder of the robot they gave birth to. Still, at the end of the day the bottom line is to create products that customers relate to enough that they feel compelled to open their wallets and give us their hard earned cash or plastic.

If we’re really lucky, and really creative, then we can repeat the process over and over again, using the profits from this product generation to build the next one. And, our customers will be so delighted with our products that they will automatically come back to buy more and more.

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Robo-IRT Makes Controlling the i-SOBOT a Breeze

Robo-irt isobot

As much as we’re devoted to the larger humanoid robots, we have to admit that they’re a bit expensive. At the same time, we love the lower cost robots like the TOMY i-SOBOT and the WowWee Robosapien types. But their remote controls are frequently complex and difficult to use, and editing a robot program usually turns out to be an exercise in frustration.

The best way to get around the remote control/programability challenge has been the free RoboDance software application. It’s loaded with great functionality and is extremely easy to use, even for a pure novice. It’s only drawback has been that you have to purchase a special IR transmitter to send the software commands to your robot. Thankfully a new, low cost transmitter, appropriately named “Robo-IRT” has hit the market.

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EMA Female Robot Way Overpriced Here

ema_female_robot

EMA (Eternal Maiden Actualization), the female "Femisapien" robot designed by WowWee and marketed in Japan by Sega Toys, it ready to hit stores here next month. According to the local Amazon website, he surprisingly agile humanoid robot will go on sale September 25, and is priced at 18,900 yen - or slightly under USD$200. While we understand the need for some price premium due to changes to meet local safety requirements and documentation localization, Sega seems to have gone way overboard with EMA's pricing. The same WowWee robot, named the Femisapien outside of Japan, can be easily purchased for under USD$80.

About a week ago, we had the chance to play with one of the EMA robots on display at a big electronics superstore, and were very impressed. Its mobility and design were quite a bit better than we imagined. It would make a perfect addition to our collection of robot humanoids, but not at over double the US price. As much as the Japanese public loves, and goes bananas for robots, EMA isn't likely to pick up many fans here, outside of the small circle of robot fans that have seemingly unlimited budgets and credit cards.

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Robot Lion Skinned and Autopsied

wowwee robot lion

Dedicated robot hackers are never content to leave well enough alone. They feel compelled to dissect, hack, and mod any semi-defenseless piece of electronics that will hold still long enough for them to crack it open. For them, that's when the real fun begins.

Grandlarseny37, over on the Robocommunity forums, certainly feels that way. They just posted Part 1 of a multi-part Dissection of the WowWee Alive Lion Cub. So far, the helpless cub has been skinned, had its tail pulled, and was subjected to other indignities. Part 2 is promised to be 'Coming Soon'...

Many thanks to Robert for alerting us.

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Severe Robot Induced Flashback! (Video)

wowwee robot

When we received Robert Oschler's review of the new Femisapien robot (see video below) from WowWee there was an immediate, and overwhelming sense of flashback to the 1960's, but we couldn't quite figure out why. Then, late last night, when we should have been sleeping, it suddenly hit us. Robert's passionate devotion to robots in general, and specifically to WowWee white plastic humanoids brought back memories of the late Frank Zappa (think Mothers of Invention). Robert's obsession was captured perfectly, more than 40 years in advance - probably before Robert was even born, by Zappa in his classic song "WOWIE ZOWIE".

"Wowie Zowie
Your love's a treat
Wowie Zowie
You can't be beat
Wowie Zowie, baby
You're so neat
I don't even care
If you shave your legs

Wowie Zowie, baby
You're so fine
Wowie Zowie, baby
Please be mine
Wowie Zowie
Up and down my spine
I don't even care
If you brush your teeth"
 

So, from here on out, we have dubbed Robert with the title of "Wowie Zowie", and challenge him to create an appropriate, and totally over the top, parody music video.

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Santa Must Have Delivered A Lot Of Robots (Video)

Robot
Christmas has come and gone, but from the number of video clips showing up on popular video sharing sites like YouTube and Google Video, Santa's sleigh must have been totally overloaded with the popular Roboreptile robots from WowWee. A quick search on YouTube turned up numerous videos including one that featured a baby teething on the robot, another one where it scares the heck out of a cat and dog, yet another with it trying to climb on top of a floor vacuum, and lots of others.

Our favorite video of the bunch (see below), at least so far, has the robot exploring an office area, attempting to mate with a door, getting its head stuck between a door and the door jam, and then attacking a computer like there's no tomorrow.


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RoboReporter Contest Prize: A Free Discovery Chromashift Roboreptile Robot

Robot
To kick off the new RoboReporter robot news website, Robert, the site publisher, is staging a contest and the Discovery Channel's online store has put up a Chromashift Roboreptile robot that will go to the contest winner. The RoboReporter concept is very simple and straight forward. If you like Digg, then you're probably going to love this new site. Registration is free and open to all comers. Registered participants submit new robotics related news stories, which are then 'voted-on' by other readers. The more popular stories quickly find their way to the top of the pile.

According to the RoboReporter contest rules, the Chromashift Roboreptile robot will go to the member that submits the highest number of valid posts during the month of November. You do have to reside in either the US or Canada - which unfortunately leaves us out of the competition.

So, don't just sit there. Get your browser over to the RoboReporter website, read the rules, register, and then start submitting pointers to new and exciting robot developments. They don't have to be about the Roboreptile or even a Robosapien - any robot related news story will be considered. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to take home a brand new Roboreptile robot.

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