We did one of the first reviews of the Futaba based HPI G-Robot when it was first introduced to the press almost a year ago, and have to admit the design and performance was quite impressive, even if it was a little pricey.
Since then Futaba has released basically the same design in the US, at a lower price point, as the RBT-1 humanoid robot. So, we were quite interested to see how the Futaba robotics group staff would show off the robot to its best advantage.
We got exactly that opportunity (see video below) a couple weeks ago at the All Japan Plastic Model/Radio Control show at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center complex.
Two of the Futaba managers, who had obviously logged countless hours playing with the RBT-1, were showing it off for the crowds, and drawing a lot of attention. They were so slick that one of them actually stood next to the demonstration table looking totally relaxed and smiling while he operated the robot with the control hidden behind his back!
We should point out that the robots in this video may have been modified from the stock configuration. At the minimum its easy to see that they have definitely been fine-tuned.
We also noticed, after going through a lot of the footage using slow motion playback, that these particular motions are more sliding or shuffling rather than true walking. That doesn't mean that the robot couldn't execute better walking - we believe it can based on our testing of the HPI version.
Actually, we'd like to see it since we find the shuffling gait to be rather hyper and want to give the robot a prescription for Ritalin.