Take me apart: The
Robosapien is a robot
with a purpose — to be
HACK A ROBOSAPIEN
This maker-friendly bot begs to be opened up.
By Dave Prochnow
Photography by Dave Prochnow
One-and-a-half million Robosapiens were sold ensuring a good, competent education in robotics
last year. Appealing to both adults and kids, — that is, if you’re willing to pick up a screwdriver
Robosapien has probably gone further toward and open it up.
inspiring future roboticists than the most ambi- Finally, you’ve got to open up Robosapien if you
tious educational product. want to become one with this robot’s greatest
But that’s only half the story. Robosapien is inner strength — it wants to be hacked. I should
one of those few toys that you absolutely must know: with the blessings of Wow Wee Ltd. and
take apart, for three reasons. First, as you disas- Robosapien’s inventor, Mark W. Tilden, I wrote
semble Robosapien, you will be truly amazed at The Official Robosapien Hacker’s Guide (TAB
the simple beauty of its design. Counterbalanc- Electronics, 2005), which details over a dozen
ing springs, integrated plastic strain reliefs, and
intricately geared servo motors will delight even
the most jaded toy buyer. This robot ain’t no
bucket of bolts.
The second reason for opening up Robosapien
is learning the basics of robot and toy design. Yes,
the insides of this robot are well documented,
WARNING: Before you begin either of these hacks,
beware that, if you don’t know exactly what you’re
doing, you could damage your Robosapien. While
these instructions make every effort at holding your
hand through the process, one errant soldering mistake could render your robot a gigantic paperweight.