WowWee

WowWee Rovio Reviewed: Fantastic mobile webcam platform

WowWee Rovio Reviewed: Fantastic mobile webcam platform

The first full review of WowWee's Rovio mobile WiFi webcam has gone up, and if you were hoping the news would be bad and save you from spending $299 on a must-have robot, think again.  While we knew the tech specs were tempting - WiFi, poseable webcam, control either locally, from preset routines or via a web-interface - it turns out to be more than just a passing entertainment and suited to all sorts of robot experimentation.

Video demo of Rovio in action after the cut

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WowWee Rovio official site up; Ship date slips to December? [Updated]

WowWee Rovio official site up; Ship date slips to December? [Updated]

WowWee's official site for the Rovio mobile WiFi webcam has gone live, with videos and other information about the web-connected platform.  However, while it claims the robot is available now, the Rovio itself is proving difficult to find on any of the US sites linked to; in fact, the estimated shipping date from Hammacher Schlemmer has slipped to December 17th 2008.

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WowWee Mr Personality robot features in new demo video

WowWee Mr Personality robot features in new demo video

Back when WowWee announced their impressive Rovio WiFi mobile webcam, they also showed the creepy Mr Personality robot.  Based on the same omni-directional platform as the Rovio and the Tri-Bot, Mr Personality is a gurning, giggling, wise-cracking "robot companion" with an LCD display for a face.  I was hoping WowWee had forgotten about Mr Personality - because he scares me - but sadly not; there's a new video of the monstrous beast in action in preparation for his imminent launch.

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WowWee Rovio videos: WiFi remote webcam demo

WowWee Rovio videos: WiFi remote webcam demo

While we wait for the first Rovio reviews, WowWee are drubbing up enthusiasm for the WiFi-enabled remote webcam with some new demo videos.  Intended to give an overview of the robot and its functionality, the three clips show everything from using Rovio remotely through the web interface, using the webcam on its adjustable arm, and directing it to return to the charging base.

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WowWee Rovio Unboxed ahead of official launch

WowWee Rovio Unboxed ahead of official launch

WowWee's Rovio doesn't officially start shipping until next Friday, but our friend Robert Oschler at RobotsRule has managed somehow to score a pre-release sample.  He's put together an unboxing gallery to keep us sated while he reviews the WiFi-enabled mobile webcam, including the Rovio itself and the NorthStar docking and recharging station that creates a digital map for the robot to follow.

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WowWee Rovio WiFi surveillance robot available for pre-order

WowWee’s Rovio remote surveillance robot, announced at CES 2008, has finally shown up for pre-order in the US.  Previously an exclusive with UK-based retailer Red5, the WiFi-enabled mobile webcam platform is now listed at Hammacher Schlemmer (although, as usual, not by brand name) with a pre-order tag of $299.  Ship date is given as September 26th.

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WowWee’s Femisapien & Tri-Bot robots go on sale

Anybody waiting anxiously for the latest robots from WowWee’s stables should grab their credit cards and begin whistling with glee, as both the Femisapien (aka Sega’s Kissing Robot) and Tri-Bot models are now available to buy.  Femisapien, you may remember, is the first “female” ‘bot from WowWee, with a clever new programming system in which you merely have to reposition the robot’s limbs in order to teach her new routines.

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WowWee Femisapien gets reviewed: best programming interface yet

WowWee seem to be in a routine of releasing new robots every couple of months, and it’s now the turn of the Femisapien – also known as SEGA’s E.M.A. or ‘Kissing Robot’ – to go through the Robots Rule review process.  What makes her particularly special is the way WowWee encourage you to interact and programme her; yes, you can use their remote control, but the Femisapien will just as happily respond to touch and tapping, together with hand gestures and even posing her limbs for the robot to memorize. 

Check out the video demo of the Femisapien after the cut

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WowWee Alive Cub: White Tiger robot unboxed

We’ve learnt to expect great things from WowWee’s ever-increasing robot range, and while their next creation – the Alive Cub – might not be able to wander your house or play games of laser tag with you, it’ll probably be a hit with a new, younger audience.  Basically a robotic version of a baby animal, the Alive Cubs are plush and interactive; RoboCommunity have unboxed the White Tiger version, and you can see their demo video after the cut.

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WowWee Tri-Bot spotted on shelves pre-August 21st launch

WowWee’s Tri-Bot is still down at eToys for official US release on August 21st, but an eagle-eyed visitor to a Radio Shack near San Francisco has spotted the omni-directional robot already on the shelves.  There’s currently no sign of Tri-Bot on Radio Shack’s online store, and it’s still listed for pre-order at WowWee’s.

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WowWee RoboRemote hacked for extra sensors

WowWee’s RoboRemote is an aftermarket IR remote control for the company’s full range of current and future robots.  Intended to make programming the robots more straightforward, it connects via USB to a computer and, with the included software, lets you script macros and routines that are then blasted across via infra-red.  All well and good, but not quite enough for the guys over at RoboCommunity; they’ve been exploring ways to add new sensors and inputs to the WowWee stable courtesy of a hacked RoboRemote.

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WowWee Femisapien routine programming demo videos

WowWee have been showing off the latest moves by their upcoming Femisapien robot, the first “female” ‘bot in their stable and certainly the most graceful (and also recently seen using the Sega Toys E.M.A. Robot name).  After the cut you can see two new videos, the first explaining how custom movement routines can be programmed simply by moving Femisapien’s limbs around, while the second shows a staged fencing match between two of the robots.  Comprising five motors with a total twelve degrees of freedom, Femisapien can be left to explore and react to her surroundings (in ‘Attentive’ mode) or programmed and these routines replayed (in ‘Learning’ and ‘Responsive’ modes).

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