Mar 222006

In a press release put out this morning, California-based Evolution Robotics announced that they will be licensing their ViPR (Visual Pattern Recognition) and Northstar position tracking technologies for use in WowWee’s next generation of hi-tech consumer robots and entertainment products. WowWee, who manufactures the immensely popular Robosapien and Roboraptor robots, has recently been making a conscientious effort to steer the perception of their products from remote-controlled toys to autonomous, intelligent robots. In addition to eliminating the remote controls that shipped with early models, WowWee believes that Evolution’s vision and indoor navigation systems can also play a big role in achieving that goal. The strategic alliance also marks the first time Evolution’s technology will be available in mass-market, consumer robots.

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Jan 312006

Lem over at, a great resource for robot enthusiasts and a site I frequent often for news and inspiration, managed to get Australian robot hacker Sean Jefferies, aka Sprocket2Cog, on the phone last week. The two spoke for 45 minutes about how Jefferies got his start in robotics and his work hacking, among other things, LEGO Mindstorms and Roboraptors. You may know of Sean’s work and not even realize it. If you regularly read any of the tech blogs, you probably saw the picture of his Grover/Robosapien V2 chimera as it made the rounds a few weeks ago. Actually much of Sean’s work is pretty practical and should be of great interest to most hobbyists. Especially interesting is his project to control a Robosapien using a LEGO RCX brick. The two conclude their conversation with their predictions for the future of consumer robotics and robot hacking. Swing over to and take a listen to the interview. It’s definitely worth the time.