RoboQuad Becomes RoboSpy with RoboDance and Skype (Video)

Robot
At first glance, the robot on the right looks like a standard RoboQuad from WowWee, that you could find at toy and specialty stores almost anywhere.

But, on closer inspection you might notice that this particular RoboQuad is equipped with a video camera mounted on the top of its head, and has been transformed into a really unique, remote controlled, spy bot.

Robert Oschler, the publisher of RobotsRule.com and developer of the popular RoboDance software application, has really outdone himself this time. He's equipped his RoboQuad with a video camera, Skype video conferencing ability, and can control the robot remotely from anywhere in the world using voice commands processed through RoboDance. He explains it all, and promises some interesting follow-on information, in the video below.

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Homer-Sapien Robot Totally Out of Control (Video)

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Shiny Shiny out of the UK is one of our favorite YouTube feeds, half because of the great gadgets and stuff they review, and half because of the really entertaining hosts, like Susi and Zara. Usually they manage to show off the product they're reviewing pretty successfully, though every once in a great while, things can unexpectedly go wrong.

And, when they go wrong, as they did during Zara's Homersapien robot review video below, they go really, really wrong. Nevertheless, Shiny Shiny shows you that too - which we have to totally respect them for. 

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The Robot Sleeps Tonight (Video)

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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.


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RoboPanda Demonstration (Video)

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It's always hard to make any judgments about new products just based on reports from the big trade shows like CES since the hype is usually so thick you couldn't cut it with a knife. But now that all the excitement and media love-fest has calmed down a bit, we're starting to see better information come out that will eventually lead to a thumbs-up, or thumbs-down, purchase decision on some of the interesting robots scheduled to hit store shelves later this year.

One good example is the RoboPanda from WowWee. Initially we were fairly cold about it, but willing to wait for more details. After watching the latest demonstration video (included below) featuring the talented robot, we've warmed up a bit. It has definite potential, and may appeal to both customers that want to purchase one for their children or grandchildren, and to hackers like us that want a platform to modify and show off our own creativity.

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WowWee RoboQuad Robot Neither Fish Nor Fowl (Video)

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Shiny Media posted a video clip (see below) featuring the new RoboQuad robot from WowWee, and even had Mark Tilden explaining, or trying to explain, why the robot is so impressive or innovative. Unfortunately, after watching the video quite a few times, we still can't figure out it's appeal. It's not a robot fish, or bird, or monkey, or rock star legend, or even a spider robot.

It's certainly true, as Tilden points out, that it can walk sideways, and we'll take his word for the fact that it can walk on any surface - unlike most of the other WowWee robots. And it does come in a wide range of color selections - either black or white. Take a look at the video interview, and let us know what you think, and if you would pull out your plastic and buy one.


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Robosapien Gets A New Paint Job, And A New Brain (Video)

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What do you do with a world famous toy that sold millions of units worldwide, but has lost its "WOW" impact and seems more than a little dated only a few years after its introduction? 

If you're Mark Tilden, and the toy happens to be the record setting original Robosapien, then you find a popular character to license like Spiderman, give the robot a new paint job, and reprogram its brain with a new set of moves and sounds. And, if the character you license has another major movie set to be released at the same time, so much the better.


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Santa Must Have Delivered A Lot Of Robots (Video)

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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

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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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Robosapien RSMedia Goes Starkers

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While most of the Robosapien fans around the world still have to be content with the older Robosapien V2 version, some lucky folks in Australia have able to buy the brand new Robosapien RS Media model long before Christmas. And some of the more fanatic hackers haven't been content to just play with their new toy - they have completely disassembled it down to the individual components, motors, and springs.

Luckily  for the rest of us that aren't likely to see hide nor hair of the RS Media until long after Santa Claus has returned to the North Pole, hackers like "Carloz" have fully documented their RS Media uncloaking with great photos and commentary. If you're a devoted robot hacker, or even if you just have a passing curiosity about how Mark Tilden works his robotic wonders, you'll definitely want to check out this continuing thread on the Unofficial Robosapien Hacks and Mods Forum.

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