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The Robosapien Companion: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks (Technology in Action) 2005th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book! I sat down and read cover to cover. I guess I am going to have to break down and buy Robosapien. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Moon
Gift for grandson. He still loves it, still plays with it. It still works like new.Published 6 months ago by Jesse
Dont waste your time buying it unless you are super into robots and programming themPublished 11 months ago by TJAllred