The Robosapien is very friendly, in an international, non-communicative kind of way. With no obvious branding, and no language skills to speak of, it belches and whistles, chatters away and bumbles along.
But the Robosapien isn’t just a friendly face. It’s designed to be robust enough to walk off a coffee table without any fear of damage.
“The Nasa guys are funny about that,” said Tilden. “They talk to me at robotics events and say, ‘What can yours do that mine can’t?’ and so I walk it off the table, pick it up and it’s still working.
“Then I say ‘your turn’ and they refuse, whining about ‘mine costs a million bucks’.”
But it’s the robot’s locomotion that’s really interesting. Tilden designed the Robosapien by drawing triangles.
“If you look at most robots in TV or even real life, they move forwards, backwards, left and right,” he said. “It’s all straight lines.
“The Robosapien is built on triangles, so it’s much more mobile and consequently more stable.”
That means the robot can lean over from side to side, and even walk on uneven surfaces without falling over.