Robot Builder Profile: Jin Sato – Part 1 (Video)

It's been a while since we published one of our 'Robot Builder Profiles', so we thought it's about time that we made up for our shortcoming by posting a series of interviews with one of the best - Jin Sato.

"Jin-san", as he is often referred to by friends here in Japan, is a world class humanoid robot designer and a top ROBO-ONE competitor. Over the past five years he built ten completely new humanoids, an average of two per year, from the ground up. In many cases, he did all the design and hardware fabrication as well as developing the controller electronics and supporting software.

We'll delve into some of his educational, humanoid, and other robotic, projects in upcoming posts, but we thought the most appropriate place to start would be with his earlier LEGO Mindstorms creations, especially his 'MIBO' dog robot clone of Sony's popular AIBO. In the video interview below, Jin demonstrates the original MIBO robot while explaining some of the the robots design features, and why he took on such a daunting challenge.

During the interview, Jin mentions his book that documents the MIBO using the original LEGO Mindstorms system. We should point out that this was quite a few years before the NXT system, and involved quite a few individual LEGO parts.


With only five motors, the MIBO design has six degrees of freedom. 


Although it's about six years old now, the original MIBO is still functional, and manages to keep on moving even when some of its gears slip a gear tooth or more.

Related links:

J-S Robotics Jin Sato's current robotics venture (Japanese)

You might also enjoy:

  1. Robot Builder Profile: Matt Bauer and the Robonova-1 (Video)
  2. Robot Builder Profile: Audio Interview with Sean Jefferies
  3. Robot Builder Profile: Ionitron and the X-VEAAT Robot (Video)
  4. Robot Builder Profile: Roger Mertin – Founder, Mobiru Micro
  5. Robot Builder Profile: Team Cosmos – Champion Robot Builders
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  1. Vinay Prathapan


    I’d like to say that a four-legged animal walks in a slightly different way. You may be able to make it walk better if you could alter the motion this way:

    Here’s a link to a picture…

    The principle is that the legs on each side will almost meet each other once in a while. In your model, this does not happen. Three legs should contact the ground all the time… your method causes the dog to have only two legs touching the ground during certain times.

  2. I also have made another MIBO. but I named it REX. It has less parts, and it uses only one RCX (the brain) and it has eight degrees of freedom, whereas Jin Sato’s only has 6. I could not add a picture, and I am currently making a website about it.

    But I might later tell you where to find this picture.



  1. MAKE: Blog - Robot maker: Jin Sato (video) Robot Dreams writes - We had the opportunity to visit Jin Sato's workshop in Tsukuba, Japan, ...

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