The Kondo KHR-1 Second Anniversary Celebration was full of delightful surprises - some on stage or in the ring, and others that appeared quite unexpectedly in the pit area. When we stopped by table where Dynamizer was getting ready for the event, Sugiura-san suddenly surprised us with his latest creation - a robot cat!
The new robot cat (name unknown at this time) is really cute and life-like. Similar to Metallic Fighter, the new robot uses a bicycle flashlight as its head and face. The total part count is very low, basically consisting of five servos (Kondo, of course), a RCB-1 controller board, battery, speaker and electronics, the flashlight head, some whiskers and a tail, four machined cam legs and two ears.
The RCB-1 controller board mounts on top behind the servo that moves the robots head. The speaker and its associated electronics is placed at the very rear, and, like all Japanese cats, says "nyan, nyan" instead of "meow, meow" like Western cats do...
The robot's legs have a basic cam design that enables it to move around in a very cat-like fashion. The legs are identical for each side, and mirrored for the opposite side. The four servos that drive the legs also form the cat's body, while another servo mounted on top of the front pair of leg servos provides up and down motion for the robot's head.
The battery is mounted underneath the robot in a space between the front and rear leg servos keeping the robot's center of gravity very low for added stability. Sugiura-san didn't mention any plans to commercialize the robot at this time, so we're assuming that it is just a "fun project" and proof of concept for now.
That being said, the overall design simplicity is very compelling and in many ways might prove to be extremely attractive to families with youngsters that want to get started in robotics.
We have some video clips showing the robot cat in action and will try to post them later this week as soon as we get a free moment to sort through all the video from the event.
Official Dynamizer Website (Japanese)