Thanks to a very timely and welcome heads-up by "cdraptor" from the RoboSavvy forums, we were able to confirm that the long anticipated Futaba RBT-1 humanoid robot kits are now shipping in the US.
We've been interested in the robot since we first saw it in action last Fall at a hobby show in Chiba, and had the chance to do considerable hands-on testing and evaluation of the Futaba robot version sold in Japan through an OEM relationship with HPI under the G-Robot brand name. We definitely liked what we saw, and have been waiting to see how this high performance, high flexibility robot is received by the US market.
Over the past month or so, there have been strong indications that the RBT-1 would start shipping soon since Boss Robot Hobby in Berkeley started offering the robot kit via eBay, and Trossen Robotics also listed it on their website. According to Johnny at Boss Robot, who's really excited about the new kit, Futaba had committed to deliveries starting on July 16th. They must have lived up to their word because earlier today, Trossen posted photos of the first unit they received along with their initial impressions - which appear to be quite positive and excited. "Let the games begin!"