Bandai Robot Laboratory, the same folks that introduced the WonderBorg robot, are releasing another robot to the market - at least to the Japanese market - at the end of November. The new robot's name is "TansorBorg", though we're not sure exactly why they picked that particular name.
Like the WonderBorg, the new TansorBorg is sold as a kit complete with chassis, drive motors, electronics, pincers (yes - we said pincers), computer interface cable, and supporting software on a CD-ROM. The robot features quite a few sensors that enable it to react to objects in front and slightly to either side of it, and then there's the pincers... The software appears to be modeled after the Lego Mindstorms programming concept in that the user doesn't have to deal with an actual programming language - they can create programs to drive the robot by arranging logic blocks.
Oh - the pincers? In the website videoclip and photos they show the pincers being used to grap a soft drink can and move it across the floor, but we're sure that some enterprising young Japanese will soon sharpen it's jaws and have it terrorizing the family dog, or their poor sister.
Bandai's MSRP for the new robot is listed at 25,000 yen - roughly USD$225, which seems a bit pricy, but then most robot kits sell at a premium here in Japan. It will be on display and demonstrated at the Akiba Technopark Robot event scheduled for next weekend (November 26th/27th) in Akihabara, and then released for sale online at 9:00 pm on November 30th.
Needless to say, we plan on dispatching our field crew to try and track down the TansorBorg and capture it in action on video.
Bandai TansorBorg Robot Website [Japanese]
TansorBorg Sample Movies [Japanese]
Akiba Technopark Website [Japanese]