We haven't had as much time as we would have liked to devote to assembling our new MANOI AT01 robot kit. Nevertheless, we've been able to make quite a bit of progress, to the point that some of the robots sub-assemblies are starting to actually look like robot limbs rather than a just a collection of loose parts.
As we mentioned in a previous post, the manual is very detailed and easy to follow. This morning we completed the first 26 or so pages out of a total of 104 in the manual. We have the advantage of being able to read Japanese at a pretty elementary level and we have some translation software on our PC. So far we haven't had to ask for help or assistance since the diagrams and exploded views are very easy to understand.
At first we thought it might be a good idea to print out the manual so that we could make notes on it and take the paper version with us to study on the train during our daily commute to the office. However, since the assembly is progressing so easily we may forgo the printing.
One real advantage of working with the pdf version on our PC is that it is really easy to get a close up view of the drawings. This came in very handy when we were assembling some of the first brackets and accidentally reversed one of the parts. Zooming in on the manual drawing immediately showed us where we had gotten off track.
The parts organization also helps a lot. Kyosho took the time to package parts that go together during the assembly in the same plastic bags which is really a time saver and eliminated a lot of confusion. On the other hand, since we don't deal with small parts and assembly everyday, the large number of different size and type screws has been a headache. One suggestion we plan to make is that Kyosho add a small label or piece of paper with the screw sizes in each of the screw bags.
The servo mounting brackets are molded plastic parts that snap together like 3-D puzzle pieces and are then secured by screws. This results in a very solid mechanical structure with no slip or instability, yet it's relatively easy to disassemble when the need arises. We found this out when we inadvertently put one of the parts in upside down and had to correct it.
Like all robot kits, the MANOI AT01 is built up from individual parts into sub-assemblies that are then combined to create the different sections of the final robot.
This is one of the robot arm assemblies just before the two sub-assemblies are mated. The hand bracket is on the far left attached to the elbow servo. The shoulder servo is on the far right.
We spent sometime getting familiar with the Heart to Heart 3 software application before we mounted the servos so that we could make sure that they were in their zero position. It may sound trivial or juvenile to some, but we really got a kick the first time the servos started moving under program control. We sat there for a quite a few minutes just running the adjustment sliders and watching the servos respond. When we get a little further along in the assembly process we'll post some video clips.
The left and right arm assemblies.
The elbow servo bracket will slide into the matching bracket on the right and then a small bushing is inserted on the opposite side of the servo and secured forming the joint.
The kit comes with angle gauges to assist in aligning the servos. The gauges have detents that fit into matching holes in the servos and are sticky backed so they won't slip out of position.
Project M: MANOI Posts (English)
Kyosho MANOI AT01 Official Website (Japanese)