We've been curious about HPI Racing's plans to introduce a robot product ever since we first ran across their full page advertisement in the Fall issue of ROBOT Magazine (page 19 - print edition). The ad didn't reveal any specifics, and the new HPI Robot website in the US turned out to have even less in the way of details.
Then yesterday all, or almost all, of our questions were answered as they unveiled the new HPI "G-ROBOTS GR-001" humanoid here in Japan. According to the Japanese Robot Watch report, the new robot will go on sale in December with a target price of 199,980 yen. Featuring 20 degrees of freedom and Futaba servos, it's relatively small, standing only 25.5 cm tall and tips the scales at 900 grams. The robot comes as a kit that HPI estimates will take users about two hours to assemble. Given it's size and flexibility, it may turn out to give the Plen robot some serious competition.
There's no mention of a schedule to sell the product outside of Japan, but you can bet that they had it in mind when they created the new website and placed those magazine ads.