Programming Books C Java PHP Python Learn more Browse Programming Books

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The Robosapien Companion: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks (Technology in Action) [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Samans
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $24.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $15.61
You Save: $9.38 (38%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $15.61  
Paperback $16.43  
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

"You'll loveThe Robosapien Companion: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks whether you're a robotics expert or beginner. And whether you own a Robosapien or not, or are anticipating the V2 release, you'll learn about the workings and theory of this fun robot. An owner of several Robosapiens himself, author Jamie Samans covers everything from basics like diagnosing and testing your new Robosapien, to advanced topics like hacking and modifications. He thoroughly covers what he calls the ""curiosity and creativity"" of this famous bot.

The book functions as both a practical user guide and an interesting read about the theory behind the machine: BEAM robotics. (BEAM stands for biology, electronics, aesthetics, and mechanics.) You'll learn about Robo's 67 unique functions, and get the full scoop on the upcoming line of Robosapiens: the Robopet, the Roboraptor, and the bipedal Robosapien V2. By the book's end, you'll come to master your V1 or become fully prepared for the exciting upgrades planned for V2.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jamie Samans has been extremely active in the Robosapien community since July 2004 (the time of Robosapien's U.S. release). His hack submission was published in an issue of Servo, which asked him to write a series of articles on advanced hacking techniques for publication.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10845 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (August 22, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than a toy; is it a tool? September 7, 2005
There have been numerous specialised books on robotics, going back decades. Almost always from a research perspective, and dealing with once-off custom designs. Yet in the last 2 years, a toy robot, called Robosapien, has proved wonderfully popular in the mass market. Samans shows why Robosapien can be considered more than a toy. Perhaps even a tool for advancing robotics.

The book blends two themes. The predominant one is how to modify your Robosapien. Samans explains the deliberately extensible nature, which appeals to many tinkerers. It is rare, indeed, for a mere toy to be so open. Typically, a toymaker locks down the toy, and might even sue any hacker with the gumption to publicly tweak the toy. But here, Robosapien's maker [WowWee] takes the completely opposite tack. The book documents some of the numerous ways to indulge your tinkering. Notably including using your personal computer as a controller.

But the book also explores another theme. It uses Robosapien as a case study of a different approach to robotics. Designed around BEAM - biology, [analog] electronics, aesthetics and mechanics. The idea is to seek inspiration from biological evolution, since the best ideas may well have been tried out and found successful in nature. Then, these are reimplemented in mechanical form, preferably using analog electronics to control the functions. Instead of having a master CPU that has code to handle every possible contingency, which is impossible.

The first theme turns Robosapien into a seriously cool hacker's dream. The second theme turns the book into somewhat of a textbook, that may well be more persuasive than many robotics tomes.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pleasant surprise January 7, 2006
I bought a RoboSapien about 8 months ago. I tell people that I got it for my kids, but I just couldn't resist it - it looked so cute. Anyway, I played with it for a few hours and then got bored with it. It has spent the last 8 months collecting dust on a shelf.

Yesterday, I happened across this book at B&N and have been reading it ever since. Way to go Jamie! The shell of this thing totally threw me off and I never thought to crack it open. I like the mods you made - very practical and I am strongly considering adding the camera so I can check on my home when I am on vacation - or maybe spy on my kids.

Very good book - easy to read - really cool subject - I highly recommend it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must - have book for Robosapiens fans....!!! October 23, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Honestly I have not finished reading this book, but I have enjoyed every page of it that I decided to give it a well deserved review. Very well written, simple, and enjoyable. This book goes from the very beginning, history and development of the Robosapien, interviews with Mark Tilden (Robosapien creator),from packaging of the robot, tips, tricks, and ways to Hacking it, with lot of black & white pictures of the robot and its internal parts. The book also give a preview of the Robosapien online community with info and resources, and insights for the new Robosapien v2. If you own a Robosapien or going to buy one, you owe this book to yourself.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Framework for Exploring January 9, 2006
Having read a number of robotics books, what struck me first was how well structured Robosapien Companion is. This is not simply a collection of hacks and technical tidbits. Rather, it is a companion in the truest sense. Samans deftly follows the full curve of Robosapien's life, starting with Mark Tildens early BEAM endeavors and Robosapien's development, moving to cracking into the box and getting the most from a virgin 'sapien, and rounding it out with basic and advanced hacking techniques.

Two different but alike audiences will enjoy this book. The first are those looking to get more play from the Robosapien toy. The text offers plenty to do. Though I bought my Robosapien to hack, I found myself keeping it in one piece and trying out the programming lessons and "secret" functions. The second audience are those who admire Mark Tilden's work and want to know how he applied it to Robosapien.

Being a member of this last, I found two chapters of particular interest. First, I appreciated the chapter on the development of Robosapien. Samans discusses some of Mark Tilden's design principles and shows how they culminated in a biped at the Telluride workshop. This was, of course, the first Robosapien. Samans goes on to capture the excitement of Robosapien's early days. Next, I enjoyed Chapter 6 on controlling and walking. This showed where Robosapien falls in the spectrum of passive-dynamic machines. Passive-dynamics is a hot topic in robotics circles and Robosapien Companion hints at the potential of using a 'sapien for exploring these ideas

In fact, finishing Robosapien Companion leaves me with an urge to explore all sorts of things with a Robosapien. Samans provides a good framework for such explorations, weaving in commentary from Mark Tilden, expanding upon the ideas, and rounding out with links to the online community. Companion is a good book and I recommend it.

J Wolfgang Goerlich
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Companion" is a Perfect Way to Describe This Book November 12, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently purchased a Robosapien X. It's my first Robosapien. I've wanted one for years, and when I found the X at the store I purchased it immediately. I did a bit of research and found that the Robosapien X is literally exactly the same as the first Robosapien that was released, and that research led me to this book.

The book has lots of small tips and tricks in it that work great with the Robosapien. They range from programs to tips on how the sensors work on the robot, and all of them work excellently with the new RS X model. There is even a more advanced project in the book which shows you how to add a wireless camera to the Robosapien, and the parts are still readily available online so the instructions can still be followed perfectly today.

The thing that I liked the most about the book, though, is the history and background information about how the Robosapien came to be. It was fun to read about some of the design and planning that went into putting this robot together.

Overall, I like the book and think it's a great thing to have to get the most out of your Robosapien.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 6 days ago by Greg G.
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tool to expand knowledge of robotics
The manufacturer's literature accompanying the Robosapien robot leaves a lot to desire. The companion book is a must for anyone interested in developing greater understanding and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Herb Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good information, even though it is about the original...
Got one for my g.grandson. It helped me understand what it was all about even though mine was the Robosapien X with the smartphone interface attachment. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rulon K England
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but maybe a bit much for younger kids
Neat book, but a little advanced for a 9 year old. Tells you how to take the robot apart and things like that to make it do more things and improve its functions. Read more
Published 11 months ago by K.N.
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh for hackers
This book should have been called the history if the robosapien and few simple hacks you might try. Was not what I expected. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Wade Neuwirth
5.0 out of 5 stars It's exciting to read
I gave it an excellant rating because it is easy to understand and I'd recomend it to one who has time to learn something new.
Published 15 months ago by Marilyn Muwwakkil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those who like to tinker!
This is a great book, especially if you like to tinker with things. It is a DIY but it also is filled with lots of interesting information about the history of robotics as well as... Read more
Published on September 27, 2012 by JaredT
This is a good book to have for ur robot, has a lot of neat ideas and ways to modify your robosapien and make it that much more fun to play with
Published on June 7, 2007 by NTHYISOFTHWOLF
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is a dud!!!!
I was very upset when I received this book. This book does not help in the least with your robot. It is more the maker of the robot just cursing and telling about how you can add... Read more
Published on January 18, 2007 by Michael Bridges
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category