Designed by a robotics physicist who worked at NASA, the hulking Robosapien looks like a Star Wars stormtrooper on steroids, with a stark black and white body and massive shoulders and feet. Just press the black power button on its back, and it awakens with a yawn and an “Uh-huh.” You control the robot using an elaborate, button-rich remote that looks as though it could run your home theater system. The Robosapien can perform more than 80 actions such as dance, burp, do a karate chop, give a high five, and listen for intruders, and its eyes light up red and blink whenever a command is received. It’s also equipped with touch sensors, and it stops when it bumps into walls. If you ever get sick of its act, simply press the Stop button to make it quit. The robot is highly flexible, with joints that go every which way, yet very solidly constructed. Four D batteries for the robot and three AAA batteries for the remote are required. An extensive instruction booklet is included. –Andy Boynton
While the Robot Systems Technology Branch at NASA’s Johnson Space Center continues to develop its humanoid Robonaut, one NASA scientist has worked to take many of the same basic capabilities and introduced Robosapien! Robosapien is a full function, programmable, fast moving robot controlled by wireless remote control. High-tech but easy to use, Robosapien features: Real multi-speed fast dynamic walking, running, and turning. Fast, full function arms with two types of grippers.67 pre-programmed functions including pick-up, throw, kick, sweep, dance, fart, belch, rap, and half-a-dozen different kung-fu moves. Speaks fluent international “caveman. Programmable “reflexes” to touch, pickup, kicks, or sound. Up to 84 program steps, with 4 program modes for advanced operations. No computer required, all functions handled by ergonomic remote control. Runs on regular batteries (not included) for over 6 hours. Three demonstration modes: Disco dance, Rude behavior, and Kung Fu Kata. Simple enough for kids, advanced enough for adults, it’s like a video game character for the home. Developed by Mark Tilden, a robotics physicist who has worked for NASA, DARPA and JPL through Los Alamos National Laboratory. He developed the basics for biomorphic robotics in 1988; Robosapien is the first commercially available robot based upon this principle.