In the lull between major ROBO-ONE competitions, and with a healthly dose of competitive spirit, a couple of top ROBO-ONE robot builders seem to have started a friendly competition. They want their robots to sprout wings and take to the skies. The two robot builders, Maru-san (King Kizer) and Yoshimura-san (R-Blue) are each determined to have their robots be the "first in the world" to set some new robot aviation records.
From what we have been able to figure out so far, during the KHR-1 Second Anniversary party a few weeks ago there was a lot of discussion about who would set the "first robot to do xxx . . ." records, and many ideas got floated, perhaps some of them in jest.
Obviously Maru-san and Yoshimura-san took the discussion very seriously. Yoshimura, or at least R-Blue his robot, is a member of the Robo-Masters team that also includes ROBO-ONE robots like Dynamizer, TokoToko Maru, Metallic Fighter and others. Maru, who designed King Kizer - the strikingly powerful red robot that we featured in March jumping rope, is a member of the Robo-Fighters team from Osaka that includes robots like Kazz's KZR-4, WR-07 - the transformer robot created by Nakamura-san, Valkyrie - the poetic robot that looks like it just stepped out of a Dumas novel, and others.
They not only took on the challenge, they immediately proceeded to do something about it. The party took place the evening of June 10th in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, and it was only a couple of days before Yoshimura-san posted evidence of some preliminary flight success on his website (see links below).
As best we can tell from examining the photo and video clip, he used one of the earlier R-Blue versions or prototypes, and did manage to get it in the air in what could best be classified as a "hang glider" flight. Yoshimura, by the way, also happens to be the primary designer of several well known ROBO-ONE style robots including the recently released KHR-2HV.
Not to be out-done, and really driven to yank the robot flight record clearly from Yoshimura-san's hands, Maru-san put together the type of over-the-top effort that he’s become known for. He recruited King Kizer Puchi, a simpler 6-servo version of King Kizer, as the pilot, strapped him into a paraglider cockpit, and sent him off to soar like an eagle.
We're not sure how long the flight actually lasted, or what altitude the robot was able to reach, but we do know that it lasted at least 2 minutes and that the robot glider was high enough that it only looked like a speck in the distance to the video camera.
We're not exactly sure. Bowling? Pole vaulting? Gymnastics? Figure skating? We do know that almost anything is possible once these guys, and gals, put their minds to it.
Yoshimura/R-Blue Website (Japanese)
Yoshimura/R-Blue Hang Gliding Post (Japanese)
Maru Family/King Kizer Website (Japanese)
King Kizer Puchi Webpage (Japanese)