Posted by: robotnews | March 31, 2006

Roaring Roboraptor

u0205159 Du Xing

The Roboraptor measures about 80cm from head to tail and comes to life with realistic motions and advanced artificial intelligence. It has 40+ pre-programmed functions and comes with dinosauresque advanced artificial intelligent personality, realistic biomorphic motions, direct control and autonomous (free-roam) modes. It has three fluid bi-pedal motion: walking, running and predatory gaits, and comes with realistic biomorphic body movements such as turning head and neck and whipping tail actions. It even has three distinct moods! namely hunter, cautious and playful.

It is able to autonomously interact with the environment, such as responding with mood specific behaviours and sounds. It also has mood dependent behaviour, and multi-sensors on its tail, chin, mouth touch sensors and head sonic sensors that allows it to responds to touch and sounds. With an infra-red vision system detects objects in path, or approaching. It has powerful jaws that play tug-of war games, “bite” and pull, with “laser” tracking technology: trace a path on the ground and Roboraptor will follow it. visual and sonic guard mode. It even responds to commands from Robosapien V2.

Roboraptor will start to explore his environment autonomously in Free-Roam Mode if left alone for more than three minutes. While Roboraptor is in Free-Roam Mode he will avoid obstacles using his Infrared Vision Sensors. Occasionally he will stop moving to see if he can hear any sharp, loud sounds. After 5 to 10 minutes of exploration Roborapto will power down. We can also put the Roboraptor into Guard Mode. Roboraptor will perform a head rotation to confirm that he is in Guard Mode. In Guard Mode Roboraptor™ is using his Infrared Vision Sensors and Stereo Sound Sensors to guard the area immediately around him. If he hears a sound or sees movement he will react with a roar and become animated. Occasionally Roboraptor will turn his head and sniff.

Roboraptor has Infrared Vision Sensors that enable him to detect movement to either side of him. However infrared functions can be affected by bright sunlight, fluorescent and electronically dimmed lighting. Upon activation Roboraptor will be sensitive to sound, vision and touch. If you trigger the Vision Sensor on one side more than three times in a row, Roboraptor will get frustrated and will turn away from you. This will also happen if you leave him standing with his head facing a wall. Roboraptor uses his Vision Sensors to avoid obstacles while wandering around. While walking he will not be able to detect movement so he will react to you as if you are an obstacle.

Roboraptor can be guided around using “Laser” targeting. A green Targeting Assist Light from the remote control will make the Roboraptor move towards the light. Roboraptor’s Infrared Vision System and the “laser” targeting are based on reflection. This means that he can see highly reflective surfaces like white walls or mirrors more easily and at greater distances. Roboraptor also walks best on smooth surfaces.

With its stereo sound sensors, the Roboraptor can detect sharp, loud sounds (like a clap) to his left, his right and directly ahead. He only listens when he is not moving or making a noise. In Hunting Mood when he hears a sharp sound to his side he will turn his head to look at the source. If he hears another sharp sound from the same direction he will turn his body towards the source. If he hears a sharp sound directly in front of him he will take a few steps toward the source; In Cautious Mood, when he hears a sharp sound to his side he will turn his head to look at the source. If he hears a sound straight ahead he will walk away from it; In Playful Mood When he hears a sharp sound to his side he will turn his head to look at the source. If he hears a sound straight ahead, he will take a few steps backward, then take a few steps forward.

Roboraptor has multiple touch sensors which allow him to explore his environment and respond to human interaction. If you press the sensors on Roborapto’s tail , the Tail Touch Sensors with produce reaction varies depending on his mood; Pressing the sensor under Roboraptor’s chin activates the Chin Touch Sensor, which also produce reaction depending on his mood. There is a also a mouth touch sensor on the roof of Roboraptor’s mouth. In Hunting Mood, touching this sensor will trigger a biting and tearing animation. In Cautious and Playful Moods, Roboraptor will play a tug-of-war with whatever is in his mouth.

You might wonder how we can control the Roboraptor’s Moods, it is done with a button on the remote control. Hunting Mood is the default mood that Roboraptor is in
when turned on. It can also be set in the playful mood or cautious Mood. As mentioned above, the moods determine the way Roboraptor reacts to some of his sensors. In Playful Mood Roboraptor will nuzzle your hand if you approach from the side. In Cautious Mood, Roboraptor will turn his head away from movement to the side.
In Hunting Mood, his reactions are much less friendly.

Technology: biomorphic robotics
Biomorphic robotics is a subdicipline of robotics focused upon emulating the mechaninc, sensor systems, computing structures and methodologies used by animals. In short, it is building robots inspired by the principles of biological systems.
One of the most prominent researchers in the field of biomorphic robotics has been Mark W. Tilden, who is the designer of Robosapien series of toys.One of the more prolific annual Biomorphic conferences is at the Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop. These academics meet from all around the world to share their research in what they call a field of engineering that is based on the design and fabrication of artificial neural systems, such as vision chips, head-eye systems, and roving robots, whose architecture and design principles are based on those of biological nervous systems.
There is another subdiscipline is neuromorphic which focus on the control and sensor systems)while biomorhpics focus on the whole system.
Other toys by wow wee and Mark Tilden: Robosapien and Robopet.



  1. U0307654 Lian Weiwen, Mervyn

    This looks like a really interesting robot for entertainment. In the article that was published, it mentioned that he has powerful jaws. I was wondering if Roboraptor would hurt a human with those jaws. For example, a child may be playful and put his finger into the mouth to play a tug-of-war game with Roboraptor (although that would not be really adivisable). From the illustration, Roboraptor seems to have sharp teeth. I wonder if they might hurt the child.

    Besides, I wonder if there is a video to see Roboraptor in action, e.g. when it is moving. Bipdal motion is really difficult because it involves some amount of balance on one leg on a non-symmetrical shape. This is seen from the video which shows MANUS walking. From the video, it seems that the robot has great difficulty keeping balance. However, the Korean robot defending the goal post looked a lot more stable in terms of balance.

  2. U0206727 – Rajen Suchede

    Wow.. Certainly looks like a nice toy I would like to own. Whether I could afford it or not is a different issue :-p. What really bothers me is that there’s just so much you can do with it and would wear out of it in a few months. What I’d like is the ability to tweak around with the control (similar to the robots offered by lego) and make it what I want it to do =). Nice post though.. Cheers!

  3. u0205383
    Neeti Warrier

    Whoaaa! This is one entertaining toy to own! Looks like a lot of effort has been put in, to make it as life-like as possible in terms of mannerisms and actions.
    I think it would be very popular among older children (like Rajen hehehe) though not really advisable for young ones…though i would think young kids would be frightened of a contraption like this! =)

    The blog mentioned the roboraptor cannot distinguish between stationary/lifeless objects and humans while it is moving. I suppose that is because identifying a change in pixels while the robot itself is moving would not help identify a moving object. Wondering how this can be implemented then… Maybe comparing the rate of change of pixels in different areas during sampling? For a moving object, the pixels will change at a rate different from that when the robot is simply shifting its view.

  4. U0204790 Lim Wee Kiang

    Man…I would really love to own one of these toys for entertainment! This certainly brings a fresh feel to the idea of owning a robotic pet, compared to the conventional robot dog, cat or fish. The roaming mode would be very interesting and i feel the pet can be improved further by incorporating the mode switching as a result of an action. For example, it was mentioned the robot can be “irritated” by repeated motions, perhaps the robot can then change from the playful or roaming mode to one that is aggressive…It is, after all meant to be a ferocious raptor yeah? This will really add depth to the character of the robot.

    Excellent post there anyway, would grab it if it was available here(and if my pocket’s deep enough haha)

  5. WANG LIWANG U0205321

    A big boy toy. Should be expensive and need maintenance like a car. This let me associate with the “Animal Face Off” in discovery channel. In the program they produce animal framework for testing.

    As mention in the artical its jaw is powerful, and a 80cms metal object moving is just not a kidding. So far, i hope it can be traped in a cage and be further developed until it is really safe to be released.

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