New Robot Plays Air Shamisen (Video)

It seems like now days almost any humanoid robot worthy of the name can play the air drums or air guitar. Even the low cost, entry level i-SOBOT robot plays a very cool air guitar.

But a real Japanese robot ought to play some unique and totally Japanese musical instrument - say like an air shamisen....

This particular robot is the new Robovie-X, just released for sale by VStone early last month. Featuring 17 degrees of freedom, and standing 34.4 cm high (13.5 inches), the new robot lists for 94,500 yen (around USD$875).

According to the manufacturer's specifications, the new robot can be equipped with gyro sensors, an 8 channel analog input board, 16 channel digital input board, and has LED eyes under program control.

A little lighter, and less powerful, than its ROBO-ONE cousins, the Robovie-X weighs 1.3 kg with the 6V nickel hydrogen battery installed. While you wouldn't want to go head to head in the ring, the robot does have good a price/performance ratio, and is capable of surprising flexibility and motions, as you can see in the video below as the robot kneels down, and then gets back up again after its performance.

It's pretty obvious that if some one could talk the Vstone folks into competing at RoboGames 2008 this June in San Francisco, the Robovie-X would easily walk away with some metals.


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