One of our regular readers pointed us to a report published by RC Universe Magazine covering the RCX 2006 Exposition held early this month in Anaheim, California. Along with the latest R/C and diecast models a number of companies were showing off bipedal robots including a new anime/manga style battle robot from a previously unknown company named "MechRC".
Of course, it wasn't surprising to see photos of well known robots like the Robonova-1 from Hitec. However, what did catch our alert reader's eye was a photo showing the new MechRC bipedal robots. And, according to unconfirmed rumors, this new robot product is expected to have a price point around USD$500, or about half that of robots like the Kondo KHR-1 and Robonova.
Unfortunately, besides the photos and breif mention in the RC Universe report, there is almost no public information available on the MechRC robots. A Google search comes up with just a few references, and a visit to the MechRC website turned up even less - though their graphic illustration definitely rocks.
Digging a little deeper, we found the website for Kablamm, a UK based toy product development company that is apparently responsible for the new robot. Although the Kablamm website has quite a few pages (we checked them all), it makes no mention of MechRC or the new robots, and avoids disclosing any information about any of the projects produced by Kablamm in the past, or currently in work.
It's hard to tell from just one photo, but there seems to be a striking similarity between the MechRC robot designs exhibited in Anaheim and the Kondo KHR-1 design. The new robot has plastic in lieu of the KHR-1 aluminum brackets, and it has more of a humanoid shaped head instead of a rotating black servo case. Still, the overall mechanical layout, joints, axes, and other aspects of the robot appear to mimic the KHR-1 to a "T".
Hopefully MechRC will be releasing more information in the near future - especially if they want to have a product on store shelves in time for the critical holiday buying season that seems to make or break companies in the toy industry each year.