We’ve received a lot of questions recently regarding the Japanese “Robo-One” robots, so we thought it might be a good time to publish a series of Robo-One Primer articles covering the robots that are currently available, some of the competitors, and the competitions themselves. Our goal will be to cover as much material as possible, but not in any particular order – we can always go back and rearrange it later. So, let’s start with a brief overview of a mid-range robot – the Pirkus-R.
We picked the Pirkus-R because it fits right in the middle of the current price/performance range selling at a street price of 249,800 yen, and has some interesting features above and beyond the Kondo KHR-1 robots which are more well known outside of Japan.
Like most of the robots in this class, it is sold as a kit and intended for use as a bipedal walking robot platform rather than a finished robot. A major attraction is the fact that you can add on and modify the basic robot through software and hardware to demonstrate your own design abilities.
The performance of all the Robo-One robots you’ve seen in videos is directly a result of a lot of hard work and development by the individual robot hobbyists. They’ve spent a tremendous amount of time working out movements, adding additional actuators and sensors, and implementing remote control strategies.
Pirkus-R Type-01 DX
Pirkus-R is the commercial implementation of Jin Sato’s C1 bipedal robot design. Sato-san is an extremely well known LEGO Mindstorms guru, famous for his creative and often amazing Mindstorms designs like the Mindstorms version of AIBO (MIBO). He has quite a few LEGO Mindstorms books published and has been a regular contributor to the Robocon monthly robotics magazine. You can easily find some of his books (in English) available on Amazon.com in the US.
The robot itself is 29 cm tall and weighs around 1050 grams (2.2 pounds). It has 21 servo controlled joints (Robonova has 16, and KHR-1 uses 17). The on-board robot control board uses an ATmega 128 cpu.
The standard kit comes with 2 gyroscope sensors (pitch and roll) and a 3–axis acceleration sensor. Unlike the other robot kits that use R/C controls, Pirkus-R uses Bluetooth which has enabled some of the competitors to use their Bluetooth equipped cell phones to control the robot.
The manufacturer also supplies the Pirkus-R SDK for RE001 library (based on JSR-SDK for E001) to enable the development of customized robot control software.
Robot Labs - Pirkus-R Webpage – Japanese