More "Senses" for the Kyosho MANOI and Kondo Robots
Kondo has announced an upgrade to the RCB-3 robot controller board that features support of the new Kyosho 32PORT/RCB-3 sensor board (pictured at left). We guessing, because detailed information on the Kyosho board isn't available yet, that this will address the analog sensor port limitation of the RCB-3 based robots, and really stimulate the development of autonomous applications. This will probably include the KHR-1HV and Kyosho MANOI AT01 and PF01 robots. Given this exciting development, it's easy to imagine a team of autonomous AT01 robots going head to head against an Alderbaran NAO team when RoboCup 2008 rolls around.
The new sensor board is a Kyosho product, and Kondo does not intend to resell it, but has upgraded the RCB-3 firmware to fully support the board. The Kondo announcement does state that the firmware and Heart to Heart 3 (H2H3) application software upgrade only applies to RCB-3 controllers and is not compatible with the RCB-3J controllers (used for the KHR-2HV robots) at this time. That's likely to be a 'bummer' for KHR-2HV users.
In terms of additional RCB-3 and H2H3 functionality, the upgrade adds support for the Kyosho sensor board, but does not include any other changes or improvements. So, if you are already using Ver1.03 of the firmware and don't plan to use the new sensor board, there is no compelling reason to upgrade at this time.
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