Photo Courtesy of Hammacher SchlemmerImagine what the homeowners' association committee would say about having this trouncing around in the backyard! Over the years, we have visited Hammacher Schlemmer in search of the most extraordinary and unique items to share with you. The 20-foot Animatronic Triceratops, priced at $350,000, gets my vote as the winner.
This lifelike replica of a triceratops, which has been featured at museums nationwide, is the creation of Matthew Fisher at Kumotek Robotics. It is one of the many prehistoric creatures that have been featured in the RoboSUE Technology Tour.
It weighs in at 1,345 pounds and the skeleton of the replicated 67-million-year-old saurian is made of steel and aluminum. The exterior is made from polyurethane foam and textured silicone. Motion-activated cameras in the eyes work in unison with interactive software that enables it to recognize facial features of onlookers and react to their movements. The sounds made by the triceratops are emitted through a 1,000-watt speaker. This interactive entertainment robot's head sways in four directions, as its jaw opens and it growls.
The artificial intelligence in all of the interactive museum robots by the Richardson, Tex-based Kumotek Robotics includes embedded micro-cameras and central processing units, which results in real-time object recognition. These devices also can understand speech and engage in a conversation. An object placed in front of one of these robots can be "remembered" by it and used for future reference. Additionally, the robots interface with standard computers and are capable of being operated fully autonomously or by puppeteers. For more information, visit Hammacher.com and Kumotek.com.