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The Robopet is a robotic dog produced by WowWee that is based on the biomorphic work of Mark W. Tilden. The Robopet has IR, audio and tilt sensors and is able to wander around autonomously detecting and reacting to objects and sounds. It also performs random 'tricks' such as howling, begging, rolling over and playing dead.
Hardware and software
The Robopet has 5 equal custom gearboxes using 2 and 3 bit position switches. The robot runs from a single processor board in its back and is controlled by autonomous routines and IR (Infrared) signals from a thirteen button remote control. The CPU is a custom-designed 16bit RISC processor with 512k of built in sound and 12k of program space and 128 bytes of onboard RAM.
The software code is 12k of assembly language based around an operating system written in the 1980s by the inventor, Mark Tilden. The robopet operates on 4 batteries, while the remote needs 3 batteries.
Features and tricks
When left by itself for a few seconds, the Robopet enters its autonomous mode and starts exploring the room, responding to I/R reflected signals from objects and the floor.
The tricks that Robopet performs are: roll over, play dead, howl, paw, relief, jump, "whoops", rock and scratch. These can be activated by the user via the remote control and are randomly performed by the Robopet when in its autonomous mode.
The Robopet also features an edge-detection mode which has to be either on or off via the power switch, so it can be placed on a table without falling off.
The 2 axis tilt internal sensor detects whether the robot has fallen over, and it can automatically right itself.
Colors and special editions
Robopet is available in yellow ,white, pink, blue, purple, and black. A special "Signature Series" Sharper Image edition was released, sporting a metallic red color. Furthermore, a special "Bulldog" version, sporting a re-sculpted head and painted on eyes, was created for sale at RadioShack stores.
In 2007, after the release of new robots, RoboPets were repackaged to include Mini RoboPets. The Mini RoboPets wind-up and walk.
(Problems) RoboPets are extremely Fragile, Legs easily fall off or the plastic chips and breaks over time. Gearboxes were easily Jammed up. On the First edition of roboPet the legs were protected just by springs so the legs would fall off
Like the other WowWee products to date, the Robopet can be programmed. It has 9 remote-control accessible tricks and 5 direction functions (forward, backward, left, right, and stop) which can be sequentially placed into a 20 step program.
It also features "Good Dog" and "Bad Dog" buttons which either encourages or discourages it from performing recent "tricks".