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.


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.

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WowWee Rovio Robot Webcam Prices Dropping

Rovio via

Ollie, the founder and CEO of, pointed out that prices are dropping even further on the popular WowWee Rovio Robot Webcam. It's currently showing up online for $139 or less, and is a real deal if you are in the market for a highly mobile remote presence robot.

That being said, you'll need to take some caution. Some readers have reported that the Rovio application doesn't work with 64-bit Windows systems, and they have had difficulty get a timely response from WowWee on their questions. An alternative support resource is the WowWee user groups over at The site features a wealth of material and information from other users,  many of whom are more than glad to answer your questions, or even assist you in hacking your new bot.

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Robot Sightings: Homeless Robot, Widening Robot Gap, Crabfu Challenge, and more…

What's going on today in my crazy robot world?

  • 20:27 How many servos does it take to make a walking humanoid robot? How about 2...?
  • 20:40 If you're going to have robot soccer games and robot battles, you have to have cheerleaders!
  • 22:17 The Tsukuba Real World Challenge was like the Darpa Challenge only on sidewalks with real people:
  • 05:54 The "robot gap" widens and isn't expected to slow down. Notice that China and India don't make the top 10.
  • 06:42 Homeless UK robot will work for food (, or at least his animator will.
  • 08:40 Long before the Terminator or Gort, there was "Tik-Tok of Oz" (1914) and "The Clockwork Man" (1923)
  • 08:46 I-Wei needs a new challenge for Crabfu Steamworks, so we thought this 1865 creation would do the trick
  • 09:23 It's not Wall-E, but this mobile robotic arm built using 3 mm signboard and superglue comes close.
  • 10:47 What do robot loving Australian media consultants do in their spare time? They make Robot Wars videos
  • 11:10 The MarvelMind Grumbler robot ( looked really hot, but no website or blog updates in a long, long time...
  • 13:07 See the world through the other person's eyes. A simple concept, that some never learn...
  • 13:11 Thanks to the Wizard of Oz, the Tinman got his heart... but what happened next?
  • 19:36 Spykee and Rovio duke it out. ( We understand the verdict is being appealed due to cheating by one bot.
Robotically posted for Lem by LoudTwitter

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New ROVIO Robot Webcam Tutorials (Video)

rovio robot navigation tutorials

We're a big fan of the WowWee ROVIO robot mobile webcam and frequently discover new uses for this innovative product. We've even started to use it as handy portable web conferencing tool since it's light enough to pick up and carry around the office to give our remote co-workers close up views of new projects.

At the same time we understand that new ROVIO owners, especially those that aren't 'geeks', might need a little guidance in setting up and using the robot. So we were very glad to see that Evolution (developer of ROVIO's Northstar navigation system) and WowWee have put together some new, and very helpful, video tutorials (see videos below).


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ROVIO Meets The Bomb Squad (Video link)

rovio robot meets the bomb squad

We knew that ROVIO, the new WowWee mobile webcam robot we reviewed a couple weeks ago, was going to capture a lot of media and public attention, but it never occurred to us to put it head to head with robots from the police bomb squad!

That's exactly what KGO-TV, the San Francisco ABC station did in their "Cell phone controlled robot" news video feature yesterday. How did ROVIO fare? Extremely well. While the KGO-TV reviewer did have some small concerns, the review is very positive and sure to gain a lot of new fans for the innovative robot.

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ROVIO Hackers Rejoice!


The new WowWee ROVIO mobile webcam robot hasn't shipped in volume yet, though there are reports popping up on the net of users getting early units, and so far they are all extremely positive. Some owners have already started to hack this innovative robotic platform, and WowWee seems totally committed to supporting and promoting their efforts.

The company has already released a down-loadable detailed 44 page manual documenting the complete ROVIO API interface. Based on quick read through of the manual, we think the ROVIO should be easy to operate under program control and to interface with custom programs.

Let the games begin!

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Our 15 Minutes of Robot Fame

rovio robot interview on future tense 2

Andy Warhol's famous line about everyone getting "15 minutes of fame" came to mind this week when Jon Gordon, the host of Future Tense, called to talk about the new ROVIO mobile webcam robot from WowWee. Look for the 'MP3" towards the top of the Future Tense post to download the audio interview.

Of course in our case it was more like 2 minutes of fame, but we still felt very honored and lucky to be a part of Jon's popular radio program. We're regular listeners to Future Tense, via iTunes, and find it to be an excellent source for interesting and sometimes thought provoking technology news. The program, which is produced by American Public Media, is broadcast daily and is a regular feature on CBC's "As It Happens" radio program. 

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