Project M: MANOI AT01 Robot Monitor Units Ship!
As regular Robots Dreams readers are already well aware, we've been anxiously awaiting the release of the new MANOI AT01 robot from Kyosho. When they first announced that they were going to run a 'monitor' (beta user) program we immediately filled out the online entry form. Realistically we knew our chances might be really low since the monitor program was limited to 50 customers, but we held our breath, and kept our fingers crossed anyway.
So, guess what showed up at our house late Thursday night...
The final box artwork wasn't available when the monitor units were due to ship, so the robot box was plain white.
The image above with Gulliver, our KHR-1 robot sitting on top of the box, should give you a better feel for the size. Besides, we wanted to assure Gulliver that he wouldn't be forgotten or displaced by the new addition to our growing robot family. You can probably make out a few other family members in the background including Pino, a LEGO Mindstorms robot, and a few others. Further to the left on the window sill there's also one of the first Robosapien robots.
Inside the big box, there were several smaller boxes containing all the parts and the charger, along with instructions on participating in the monitor program and a nice welcome letter signed by Suzuki-san, the president of Kyosho.
The heaviest, and without a doubt most expensive, part of the kit was a box containing the 17 KRS-4024SHV Kondo servos that make the robot move. Another heavy box, relatively speaking, contained a battery charger specially designed by Kyosho for use with the AT01 robot.
Hundreds of small parts, brackets, frame pieces, cables, screws, and the robot controller board. Thankfully, Kyosho provides a very well documented assembly manual. We'll be working through the assembly, alignment, and testing over the next few days and will put the documentation through its paces.
One big selling point for the AT01 robot is its customizable polycarbonate body shells and brackets. We're going to set that box aside for the moment until we get the basic robot assembled and some motions created. Nevertheless, we've been thinking about what color schemes and themes would work out best. If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to post a comment or use the input form above. We have zero experience so far with cutting, trimming, preparing, and painting shells like this and would definitely appreciate any and all input - especially pointers to websites that have information on how to do it.
One very pleasant and totally unexpected surprise was the great battery charger that Kyosho provides as a part of the robot kit. Other kits, like the KHR-1 and Robonova-1 ship with lower end chargers that seem to take forever to recharge a battery.
The assembly manual, from our first cursory read-through, is very detailed with 104 pages of exploded assembly diagrams and step by step instructions with lots of hints and notes. As you can see from the manual illustration above, they have even included angle gauges to assist in the alignment of the robots servos and its home position.
Here's a look at the challenge facing us over the next few days:
Project M: MANOI Posts (English)
Kyosho MANOI AT01 Official Website (Japanese)
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