Wow. Just wow. I’m not sure what it says about robotics, toys, or gender studies, but the new Femisapien from Wowwee is ready to blow your mind with its mechanical wiles. Building on the success of their earlier Robosapien robot, Wowwee’s newest creation includes all the innovations of its predecessors wrapped in a feminine shell. The toy bot stands just 15 inches high but its packed with programmed moves, learning capabilities, and the desire to sing. Some of this you’re just going to have to see for yourself, check out the videos after the break.
I don’t know if the Femisapien is the first step to kinky sex androids, but Wowwee definitely infused the bot with plenty of stereotypical feminine attributes. It can perform a hip swaying runway walk, blow kisses, and sing back up to any radio in range. I’m sure someone in academia is going to write a doctoral thesis on the social implications of a gendered robot, but my guess is that Wowwee intended for Femisapien demeanor to be tongue-in-cheek. Either way, at just $90, the womanly automaton could be the 21st century version of a talking doll.
Despite the female frame, Femisapien is all robot on the inside. It comes with three active modes which a user can access by tilting its head. The Responsive mode is the most general, allowing the bot to walk around, perform programmed routines, and avoid obstacles. In Attentive mode, Femisapien will pose for you, sing back up (called the ‘shoop feature’), dance, talk, and blow kisses. The Learning mode lets you articulate the bot to record an impressive 80 steps of movement. What can you do with 80 steps? Get two robots to fence, apparently:
So when it comes to robots acting feminine I’m not sure what to think. Kitschy? Offensive? Hilarious? Enticing? However you feel about the Femisapien, there’s no doubt that it’s an impressive feat of robotic engineering. Enjoy the robot and its shapely figure if you like. Just don’t enjoy too much. Mmmkay?
*UPDATE: Robert Oschler has added a link to his indepth review of the Femisapien in the comments section. Robert can get the robot to perform some really really great moves. Check it out.
[photo and video credits: Wowwee]