RoboThespian At a Glance
This page is aimed at potential customers and distributors who want an overview of RoboThespian, its application areas, example customers, and physical characteristics.
It explains what you receive in a typical RoboThespian package, gives an overview of the interface used to control RoboThespian, how the robot can be animated, interactive features and optional extras.
The page also covers mechanical and electrical features, venue requirements, technical support available to customers and useful export information.
Follow links in the page for more detailed information.
RoboThespian™ model RT4 is a life size, interactive, fully programmable humanoid robot exhibit suitable for public display, demonstration and academic research.
The robot features an actuated upper body, arms, fingers, head and jaw designed to mimic human expression and gestures.
The inbuilt infra red depth sensor and head camera enable further interactive possibilities all designed to engage and fascinate the audience, further enhancing the communication potential of the programmed content.
RoboThespian™ is supplied with a touchscreen kiosk and pre-configured with a multiple language software interface suitable for public use.
The robot can perform any script thus making the robot an ideal interactive content delivery tool.
Demonstrate AND explain cutting edge technological advances
Users can get “hands on” and control the robot themselves, primarily via the touchscreen interface.
Inspire users to learn about STEM subjects like Computer Science and Engineering.
Create awe inspiring stage performances with multiple RoboThespians™.
The robot is also used as a platform for research into Human-Robot interaction by academic institutions.
Example Installations worldwide
Over 50 RoboThespian™ currently permanently installed worldwide, including:
- NASA Kennedy Space Center, USA.
- Questacon, National Science Museum of Australia
- MUNCYT, National Science and Technology Museum of Spain
- Parc Futuroscope, France.
- Copernicus Science Centre, Poland (complete Theatre of Robots stage production, comprising 3 RoboThespians, integrated lighting, video projection, multi channel sound).
- Parque de las Ciencias, Granada Spain. Early adopter of RT 2, and upgraded RT 3 later.
Academic instutions, including:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
- University Central Florida, USA
- Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK
- University College London, UK
- University of Barcelona, Spain
Typical Standard Package for public venues
- RoboThespian™ Humanoid Robot with 27 x Powered Head, Arm and Body Axis
- Interactive touchscreen kiosk suitable for public use
- Standard web browser based public user interface
- Standard range of content - film impressions, songs, etc.
- 10 minutes of custom content prepared by our animator in accordance with customer's script and audio voiceover.
- Virtual RoboThespian – web browser application for customers to create their own content – includes wide range of Acapela TTS voices (non-public licence)
- Robot Management Software Suite – web browser application. (comprising content management, sensor data and Python IDE screens)
- Standard head option with LCD eye screens, RGB LED cheek lighting and auto jaw/speech movements
- 1 x English Text to Speech voice installed directly onto robot for offline use on “Compose” screen of interface (Acapela Demo)
- Motion tracking
- Built in Head Camera
- Basic spares kit
- Remote support and diagostics
- One year warranty on parts
Public User Interface
- Simple graphical based user interface suitable for public use with the following Screen tabs.
- Interface is pre-installed on the touchscreen kiosk but may also be accessed via a web browser on a remote PC/laptop (robot must be on and network connected)
- Individual screens can be enabled/disabled from public view as required.
Multiple language options may be included.
Customer may be asked for assistance with translations.
Users can quickly trigger pre-programmed performances at the touch of a button.
A selection of entertaining English demo content (film impressions, songs, etc) is included as standard along with customer specific content.
Icons and content fully customisable.
A selection of independent robot controls at the touch of a button.
Move the arms, head, torso, eyes, change eye expression and LED colours, prompt a range of short pre-set phrases.
Create your own unique robot performance quickly and easily with simplified timeline editor.
Drag and drop gestures, expressions, LED colours into the timeline section. Type in the Text box what the robot should say (uses Acapela Text to Speech) Then press Play to see RoboThespian™ perform your work.
Designed for public use and quick, basic custom sequences - for detailed content creation see Virtual RoboThespian.
See the “Robot's Eye View” and tracking information from it's onboard sensors.
Command the robot to copy a persons arm movements.
A library of robot behaviours available at the touch of a button. For example:
- Sing a random pre-programmed song,
- Ask robot to estimate your age, gender, expression (SHORE option required)
- Get the robot to track and point at your moving hand, etc
Icons and behaviours fully customisable.
Admin (Hidden from public view)
Restricted Access Back End Robot Management.
Volume control, diagnostic tools including robot self test routine, content
management tools. (English language only)
All customers receive access to a Virtual 3D model of RoboThespian to animate their own detailed robot performances.
Three usage tiers are available. Multiple user options provide a great introduction for visitors or students to experience robot programming and animation techniques with a real humanoid robot platform to demonstrate their learning.
|Cloud hosted application - works in a web browser (like Google Chrome)|
|Enables timeline based editing of robot sequences and audio.|
|Easy to create and transfer content to your RoboThespian or SociBot.|
|Licensed to venue to create their own content.
Included with each purchase as standard.
|Multi user licence for public visitors to create their own animations at PC terminals within a venue and see them performed by the real robot.|
|Integration into a venue's public facing website.
Encourages visitors to create animations at home or school then visit the venue to see their work performed by the real robot.
Advanced Interaction included in standard package
Look At People - in standby mode, the robot will automatically track passers by and attempt to make eye contact by moving its head to follow the person.
Python programmers can write their own control functions using the robot's web based control panel
Open API - Fully documented Application Programming interface for advanced developers.
QR Code Read and Respond
Your robot can read QR Codes and respond in way you choose.
For example, a QR code printed on a visitor ticket or membership pass could prompt the robot to deliver a special message. The visitor simply holds up the QR code in front of the robot's face to prompt the response.
Age, gender,expression recognition
Your robot will attempt to estimate a person's age, gender and expression using SHORE object recognition.
It can be programmed to respond accordingly to the data received, ie. Simply relate its findings “hello you look like a 36 year old man, your face is happy”, prompt a piece of age or gender specific content, and so on. No personal data is collected or retained.
Your robot becomes your avatar for live 2 way communication with an audience using our Telepresence system
The user wears a wireless headset to listen and speak to the audience and control robot gestures and expressions on a pre-configured tablet PC.
You are able to select a person from a group that you want the robot to maintain eye contact with whilst speaking.
The audience hears user's actual voice projected from the robot. Voice can be modified in software for different effects.
Text-to-Speech (TTS) Voices
Text-to-Speech converts text into sound and voices can be installed on your robot for use offline and in real time.
This allows content to be created on the robot directly, by yourself or for fun by your customers and visitors using the Compose screen of the kiosk
1 voice is included in standard cost - additional voices can be ordered if desired.
Note: Virtual Robot gives access a wide range of TTS voices to create audio for the robot. These are converted to sound files for transfer to the robot.
A Projected Face version of the head allows RoboThespian (and his smaller half-body colleague, SociBot) to take on any persona at all. A default human like face is parametrically driven in real time and can transition smoothly between facial expressions to show a whole range of moods.
Body LED lighting
- RGB LED lighting in 5 zones
- Face, Upper Torso, Lower Torso,Left Arm, Right Arm.
- Each zone independently controllable with 8 bit colour resolution
Minimum venue requirements for installation
- Suitable for indoor use only. Recommended room temperature: 10°C - 30°C, relative humidity: 45% - 60%
- Standard domestic mains power in the range 100v - 250v AC
- A barrier to prevent contact between visitors and RoboThespian.
- Wired internet network connection with good bandwidth - required for TinMan Telepresence , remote administration and support, and the application of updates and new software/content features. See Network Setup
- Un-oiled, compressed air at 6bar (87psi), filtered to 10µm. Peak air consumption 30L/min (7.9 US gpm) at 6bar (87psi) maximum, on average consumption is much less (Engineered Arts can supply a suitable portable air compressor unit if no fixed supply available)
For customers that do not have a fixed supply of compressed air, we recommend the following portable air compressors for use with RoboThespian. These can be supplied by Engineered Arts with your robot.
Jun-Air Model OF302-25B Portable Air Compressor
- Suitable for installations where the compressor can be located in a separate room to the robot due to noise level.
- Noise level is 65-66 dB(A) – comparable to a hairdryer.
- Technical Spec: http://www.jun-air.com/product_detail.aspx?ProductID=572&ProductTypeID=49
Jun-Air Model OF302-25M Portable Air Compressor
- Compressor is contained in an acoustic housing to reduce noise level.
- Noise level 47-48 dB(A) – quiet enough to be located very close to robot without causing distraction.
- Technical Spec: http://www.jun-air.com/product_detail.aspx?ProductID=574&ProductTypeID=49
Always check and familiarise yourself with the operating instructions for the compressor.
Technical Support Framework
|Technical Support Framework|
|Fully documented online wiki for customers with image based instructions on installation, operation and maintenance procedures.|
|Robot equipped with onboard self diagnostic tools to quickly pinpoint any issues.|
|Mechanical design continually improved with each iteration to eliminate recurring problems and simplify the maintenance process.|
|A basic kit of spare parts shipped with each robot|
|Our engineers can login remotely (you need to provide a wired network connection) to carry out diagnostic checks and fix software issues.|
|Most spare parts are held in stock and can often be shipped same day by express courier.|
|One year parts warranty as standard (option to extend available)|
Please also see the Engineered Arts Support Policy
- Binding HS Tariff Code: 9023.00.0000
- Country of origin: United Kingdom.
Jun-Air Portable Air Compressor (optional)
- HS Tariff Code: 8414 80 2200
- Country of origin: USA
RoboThespian™ is CE certified.
Regular maintenance will help extend the life of your RoboThespian.
Maintenance requirements are minimal, please see RoboThespian Maintenance
For dimensions, weight, mechanical and electrical features, and power consumption please refer to RoboThespian Technical Spec