Machines do what they are supposed to do. Cute robot toys can simulate sadness, laughter and other emotions but that's just it - a simulation. People, on the other hand, are not machines. We like to laugh; we can feel; we can be sad.
Already in ancient time we have learnt to stimulate our feelings by different means of entertainment. We like to listen to music, watch skilful dancers and entertainers. We had gladiators and thermae in Rome and we have K-1 and water parks nowadays.
The point I am trying to stress is that all the time the entertainment industry goes hand to hand with our technological development. I am also pretty sure that one day there will be amusement parks on the Moon.
At the moment I'll put dreams about space domination aside and tell you something about robots that entertain people. Of course, R2-D2 and C-3PO did a very good job at entertaining people, but I am talking about real world robotic applications in the entertainment industry.
So there are robots used as amusement rides , there are animatronics robots that entertain people at different festivals and amusement parks. And of course - there are robot toys. These form a large part of all entertainment robots. And there's pretty much to tell about them.
There are humanoid robotic toys - usually bipedal, there are robotic dog toys, as well as anything else you could possibly imagine. I'll try to give some examples of these. A humanoid robotic toy is Robosapien from wowwee. And the most notable robotic dog is of course AIBO from Sony, it's a pity that it's discontinued.
WowWee is surely one of the most known robot toy brands. This is not without a reason. WowWee successfully managed to use robotic technology to make affordable robot toys.
There were other attempts earlier. SONY’s AIBO had a very high level of artificial intelligence thus the price was a bit high. It turned out that a few thousand dollars is not the price people are willing to pay for an entertainment robot.
WowWee, on the other hand, manage to find the right price-complexity balance quite successfully. The result is sufficiently complex and affordable toys. A wide range of them actually.
Femisapien is a female version of robosapien. OK, actually it’s not but you can think of it in that way. Anyway it's a gynoid (female humanoid) toy made by WowWee. Read more on Femisapien here.
As I said above, I won't discuss fictional robots. As you can understand there are a few "real" R2D2s that you can get. Although they won't repair your computer they can be quite useful too! Read more on real R2D2s here.
Initially I wrote an article about this robot and placed it under my "Household robots" section as it is basically a mobile webcam. However, it's marketed as a toy "spy robot" and some of its features justify its place here. Read more on Spykee here.
Please be patient, as you see my site is in development, but I'm planning to cover as much topics as posible with time. If you did not find what you were looking for, please check my progress from time to time. I'm sure - eventually you'll find everything you want to know about robotic toys, as I add new articles on them here.