We have to admit that when we first saw the tiny Plen robot last Fall we weren’t very impressed. It seemed cute, and well designed, but pricy. Now, after seeing the Plen in action doing some really surprising moves, we’re willing to admit that we were wrong. Plen is definitely quite impressive.
It turns out that the Plen robot, with 18 degrees of freedom, powerful processor, and a built-in 3 axis accelerometer can actually do things that some of it’s larger ROBO-ONE cousins would find challenging to say the least.
In a new video just posted by the March Hare (see link below) the Plen robot puts on a really surprising performance doing things like picking up a large cube and tossing it, a karate kick, and even roller skating!
It manages to do it all with amazing smoothness and grace. Not only can this robot roller skate, it can even pick it self up when it falls down, and it roller skates just as easily backwards as forwards.
We mentioned that Plen is ‘tiny’ relatively speaking. The robot only stands 23 cm tall and weighs in at 700 grams. Definitely desktop class. It uses a 32bit ARM7 processor running at 33 Mhz, and comes equipped with a USB/RS-232C interface along with Bluetooth.
It’s still very pricy at 250,000 yen (over USD$2,000), but the more we see of it, the more we like it.
http://www.robot-fan.net/spot/spot081.html The March Hare’s Robot-fan.net website featuring Plen in action
http://www.plen.jp/ Plen robot website (Japanese)