Robo-One Q & A
In response to an earlier post about Robo-One competitions appearing on Japanese television, Eric asked: "Where are some places where I can order robo-one parts?"
Living here in Japan, we really aren't that familiar with sources for Robo-One type robot parts in the U.S. and Europe - so if any of our readers have sources or guidance for Eric, feel free to post a comment below. In the meantime, here are a few of our suggestions-
The term "Robo-One" as become synonymous with bipedal, humanoid robots based on multiple servos. The term itself comes from the Japanese robot competitions focused on entertainment and promoting the robot sport. It may be an urban legend, but the common belief is that the Robo-One name is a take-off on the popular "K-1" martial arts fighting sport contests.
Up until recently, most of the Robo-One entries were based on the KHR-1 design manufactured by Kondo, or were designed from scratch by robot hobbyists. Now we're starting to see advanced designs from other manufacturers - like the Robonova.
While the Robo-One competitions have developed a real following in Japan and Korea, they really haven't caught hold in the US and Europe yet, so obtaining parts and support has been a challenge in the past. Hopefully that will improve as more and more people get involved in the sport.
The most professional and complete source for "Robo-One" type robot kits and parts we've been able to locate so far is the UK based RoboSavvy (see link below). Their website includes detailed information, instructions, photos, CAD and analysis models, plus an active user forum visited by robot builders from all over the globe. In addition to the Kondo kits and parts, they have recently started handling the Hitec Robonova line.
In the US, Sozbots has been marketing the Kondo kits for quite a while, and includes a lot of useful information on their website. They currently own the Robo-One-USA.com domain, though it isn't clear that they have any direct association with the Japan and Korean organizations.
While it's not 'parts', Hitec - the Korean hobby electronics company that developed Robonova - has a good English language site that includes a list of their US online distributors plus robot retailers by state.