Take one of the 17 servo Khr-1 robot assemblies from Kondo and package it in a stylized shell with a strong resemblance to ‘Astroboy’ then teach it to move pretty gracefully and stand on one foot and you might have a marketable robot.
At least that’s what Satoshi Takahashi, the designer behind MANOI seems to believe. MANOI is about 40 cm tall and definitely looks like a cross between Astroboy, Pinochio, and Jimminy Cricket. He’s already doing promotional tours and demos in Japan, even though his release date is June of 2006 – more than nine months away. The projected market price is 150,000 yen, or roughly USD$1,500.
MANOI’s basic skeleton is very cartesian, like all the Khr-1 designs, but his outer ‘skin’ gives him a totally different appearance, more like the triangular design approach favored by Mark Tilden for the Robosapien. As beautiful as MANOI is, and he really is striking, under the hood there is very little new or exciting about his mechanical design.