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    Robosapien Video - Roboís a Star!

    How I made the video


    I have received e-mails asking me how The Chrome and Dome Show(tm) and the Robosapien Voice Control Demo was made. The most important ingredient was the use of a personal computer to script the actions of the robots for the dance, rap, and acting scenes. The standard battery operated remote included with the Robosapien does have a very basic script/macro ability, but that wasnít enough for my purposes.

    First, I needed a way to control the Robosapiens via infrared from my computer, without using the included remote control. Thanks to the Unofficial Robosapien Hacks and Mods Site, I learned of a device called the UIRT.  This device was invented by Jon Rhees, and it is an easy to use USB infrared transceiver that can send infrared commands and also learn them from other sources.  I used this device to transmit the same infrared commands the remote transmits, to my pair of robots. The device came with a simple but powerful API (Application Program Interface) and I was interfacing with it in no time at all. 

    (Editorís Note: The software now also supports the older Lego Mindstorm Serial Tower, but not the newer USB tower. You can find the Serial RS-232 Tower on eBay for about $15 USD. See the Supported Devices page for more information).

    Next, I wrote a piece of custom software that acted as a high level script editor. The software allows me to string together long chains of Robosapien commands and modify them with a word processor like interface. It has several clipboards that I can use to cut and paste commands and a full disk management interface for saving and loading scripts (dance sequences).  I added a wait command which allows me to pause a script for an arbitrary length of time.  This was necessary so that the commands (dance moves) were executed in time with the music.  It was also useful when creating a dramatic or comedic effect.  Creative use of the Robosapien stop command was helpful in synthesizing new dance moves by interrupting some of the preprogrammed command sequences like thump or wake up.

    You can see a screen shot of the software.

    The robots were then filmed using a Sony TRV-328 HandyCam. The video was then captured to my computer with the aid of a LifeView Fly Video 2000 capture board.  I then used Adobe Premiere 5.1 to edit the video, with Cubase SX handling the sound and voice work.

    I have made the software an Open Source project and itís called the Robosapien Dance Machine.  I hope this will encourage others to make their own movies and to help extend the fun and play value of the wonderful Robosapien robot.  Thank you Mark Tilden, inventor of the Robosapien!

    HOT OFF THE PRESSES! - Our Robosapien Robot Movie is here!
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