Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Femisapien: Check Her Out
SHE CAN'T SPEAK ENGLISH, NOT A WORD, says its manufacturer, WowWee Robotics Group of Companies -- with operations in Hong Kong ; Carlsbad ,California; Montreal, New York , and Wauthier-Braine ,Belgium.
The Femisapien, counterpart of WowWee's Robosapien, is here.
When the Robosapien robot skyrocketed with astounding global sales of more than 5 million units as the first commercially-available biomorphic robot - a fusion of technology and personality -- more came along, including the Robosapien V2 robot launched in 2005, with added functionality, including speech capability; the RS Media Robot launched in 2006 with a complete multimedia experience allowing users to create and edit functions; and the RS Tri-Bot Robot, a three-wheeled personality-packed companion with different play modes for hours of entertainment, launched in summer 2008.
Later same year, the Femisapien entered the market: the newest of the fembot cyborgs, cooing and preening with her "emotish" language of gentle sounds and sexy gestures, amply bosomed and buttocked, a sashaying bot more in the fashion of those stilleto-heeled Stepford Wives.
Hear out this testimonial from a new owner: " Over the course of testing, it kissed me repeatedly (until it finally said "Bleech!"), danced with me, walked with me and even delivered my business card. It also walked a virtual catwalk, avoided obstacles, fell asleep, and, I think, at one point even touched its own curvy behind and made a sizzling sound."
"When you flip on the Femisapien's power switch, it immediately raises its arms in a sort of "ta-dah!" motion. It coos and says "Mmm, Hmm!" and then awaits your instructions. Like so many of WowWee's toy robots, this one has no real purpose beyond providing entertainment, but what it can do to entertain is, to be fair, pretty remarkable."
"Its signature move, kissing, is one for the robot books. I stumbled on it by accident, and then tried to commit to memory that titling its head up and pulling one hand forward would get the robot to kiss me over and over again, as long as my head was near its face (it has IR sensors in its head)."
With three main function modes, each corresponding to a different head position, and each head-tilt in differing directions giving different results. In "Attentive Mode" , the Femisapien directly interacts with you: slow posing, introducing herself, dances with you, and even blows kisses. In "Learning Mode", she can perform for you, with some 80 different steps, plus her pre-programmed precise functions as part of her routine, like striking poses, holding and presenting thin objects such as business cards, and blowing kisses.
In her "Responsive Mode", she goes in her main walking mode, strut-your-stuff gorgeous catwalk ala ramp model vamp: interacting with your sounds and performing comedy routines. She doesn't respond through remote control and can only be controlled with hand gestures, touch and sound, her hands , meantime, function like joysticks. With a built-in detector, she detects objects at neck level, stops when something is in her path, or boldly confront another robot who crosses her path with her "Who's The Boss" routine. Whew!
Clearly, this bot , all of 14 inches but has all the curves, moves and grooves of something like a 36-24-36 curvaceous bombshell -- could be a bigger hit if the manufacturers make a humanoid version ala Asimo : tinkering at the kitchen, doing mini-errands, or cradling patients who need some "cuddling". Let's give it a few more years when this fembot grows up, life-size version, and graduate from her entertaining wiles to more serviceable functions for humanity.