We got a chance to stop by the WowWee showroom on sunday, and they had some amazing things on display. WowWee is the maker of the popular Robosapien robot, a programmable, state-of the art toy robot. But the Robosapien was not the star of the day today. It was the Alive Chimpanzee.
Basically, the Alive Chimpanzee is a fully animatronic chimpanzee head, that looked so real it was scary. It was unbelievable. The first animal to come out of the jungle and into your living room is a highly detailed, realistic-looking, life size bust of a Chimpanzee. Cutting edge Facetronics technology enables the Chimp to duplicate the signature sounds and movements of his counterparts in the wild. The Facetronics Chimpanzee was developed by George York, a Hollywood special effects expert now affiliated with WowWee. York specializes in creating the finest and most innovative animatronic creatures and prosthetics in the entertainment industry. With over 16 years of experience in the special effects industry, York can replicate the likeness of virtually any character imaginable. With realistic skin, hair, and moving features, this Chimp is so real, it"s UNREAL!
His head will turn to look at you, and every one of his features moves, just like a real Chimp, from his eyes and eyebrows to upper lip. You"ll find it hard to believe that he isn"t ALIVE! The Chimp is fully animated, interactive and communicative, has full puppeteering control, and has a fully autonomous mode as well. His sound and touch sensors, along with his IR vision system, allow him to interact with you. Based on that interaction he will shift between a happy/curious mood, a playful mood, a fearful mood, or even an aggressive mood if you are too rough! For tech lovers five years and older, the WowWee Alive Chimp will be available in December 2005, for an approximate retail price of $130.
According to the guy giving the demo, they are working on a Tiger head, and eventually a human head.
Also on display was the Roboraptor. This looked like something right out of Zoids. It's a 32 inch long robotic raptor with touch sensors and moods. Pull its tail and it gets angry and snaps at you. Rub his chin to calm him down. Sound and touch sensors are all over his body. The design on this was really top notch.
At 32 inches long, Roboraptor is a realistic robotic beast who is easily controlled and mastered with a remote control. Roboraptor"s fluid biomechanical motion allows for three bipedal movement gaits- predatory, walking and running. Multi-sensor environmental awareness allows Roboraptor to hear, see and feel people and the environment around him- he has multiple touch sensors in the head and tail, while sonic sensors detect sound and direction. Look out- Roboraptor has a strong jaw with powerful snapping action. With three distinct moods: hunter, cautious and playful- Roboraptor will keep you on your toes. Go near his face when he"s hunting and he"ll behave aggressively; touch his face when he"s playful and he"ll nuzzle your hand. Ages; 6 and up Retail: $120 Available: August 2005
The flagship WowWee product, was on display in it's upgraded form, the Robosapien 2.
Robosapien 2 now comes with color recognition, so it can follow a red ball as opposed to a green ball, and also features a great "learning" system where you can record posed movements instead of entering them on a keypad. No word yet on whether or not it obeys the three laws of robotics, or if it is programmed to hunt and kill Sarah Connor.
For 2005, WowWee introduces Robosapien V2. Robosapien V2 brings the fluid movement and biomechanical agility of Robosapien to a whole new level. Gaining a whopping 10" in height, Robosapien V2 now has full range of motion and the ability to pick up, drop and throw objects with his finely tuned precision hands. Advanced agility allows him to bend over and twist from side to side, so he can now sit, bend, lie down and stand up. Robosapien V2 will interact with his surroundings, and even responds with a"real voice"...Robosapien V2 can talk!
Fully equipped with infra-red radar vision, Robosapien"s V2 moving eyes with blue LED lights can detect obstacles, track movements and take objects handed to him. Sensory features include a vision color system that enables Robosapien V2 to recognize objects and skin tones; he can wave when he sees you and reach out to shake your hand. A stereo sound detection system allows him to respond and react to noises in the environment. Robosapien V2 comes equipped with"laser" tracking; trace a"laser" path on the ground and he"ll follow it. And, Robosapien V2 couldn"t carry the Robosapien name if he didn"t possess a one-of-a-kind attitude-filled personality! Robosapien V2 is so advanced he can even control his new friends- Roboraptor and Robopet. Ages: 6 and up Retail: $250 Available: December 2005
Lastly we have the Robopet, a trainable robot dog. Think of it as a less expensive aibo.
Robosapien V2 has a new best friend- Robopet! This biomechanical Robopet is extremely expressive with lifelike animations and digital animal sounds. Robopet is easily programmed with a remote to perform sequences of movements and tricks. Robopet walks, crawls, sits down and stands up, runs and jumps, and can perform an array of pet tricks including lying down, rolling over, begging and howling! Robopet is trainable and responds to positive and negative reinforcement. Multi-sensors allow Robopet to be aware of his surroundings. He is able to avoid obstacles, respond to sounds- even function as a guard dog! When it is time to take Robopet for a walk, use the"laser" light leash on the controller to mark a path for Robopet to follow. Robopet requires seven AAA batteries. Ages: 6 and up Retail: $90 Available: October 2005
There were some other products on display that we didn't get a chance to check out, but be sure to check out the WowWee homepage at http://www.wowwee.com/ for more information.