When times are good, and the economy is strong, then every company believes that they can operate by themselves that they have the ultimate answer for the markets requirements. There's little motivation or need to collaborate. And often we see quite a bit of duplication between companies and product lines.
But, when times get tough, when the economy tanks, when customers aren't eager to open their wallets and pull out their credit cards, then companies are forced to rethink their core capabilities and strengths, become much more realistic about their ability to invest, and often start looking for partners to band together with.
That's exactly what's happening now in the area of Japanese hobby robotics, specifically the humanoid robotics that we've all come to know and love. A new organization has just been established, Robot Yuenchi. Well known humanoid robot organizations, including Kyosho, Kondo, Himeji Software Works, Robo Garage, and the ROBO-ONE organization have united together, pooling their resources, to promote interest, activity, training, and education in humanoid robotics in Japan.
Masayuki Okamoto, who is had a long and very successful career guiding the development of the Kyosho MANOI series of robots, and has been an extremely active member of the ROBO-ONE initiative, is leading the new organization.
One of the major initiatives of the organization is to promote robot competitions and events, with the support of industry experts from participating companies and other groups to educate and excite students and the public using a variety of classroom tools, TV and stage demonstrations, exhibiting humanoid robots, flying robots, distribution of magazines, active participation in workshops, and other activities.
Secondly, they plan to develop and promote robots based on commercially available designs that utilize robot anime characters. Of course, the character designs will be officially licensed from the companies responsible for the characters themselves. Since major robot anime intellectual property companies, like Sunrise and Bandai are already active members of the ROBO-ONE organization, the new group should have access to a wealth of well known robot characters that will immediately strike a chord in the hearts and spirits fans here.
Robot Yuenchi also expects to leverage their experience in managing demonstrations, advance, and promotions, as well as their ability to maintain and repair humanoid robots.
In terms of events, the new organization will take on the mantle of the previous Kyosho Humanoid Athlete Robot competition that centered around the popular MANOI robot series, and plans to expand the breadth of competitive events as well as opening the competitions to include robots developed by other participating companies.
In addition to the traditional humanoid robot sprints, we can expect to see things like over-the-top robot dance competitions, robot soccer matches, opportunities for attendees to actually get hands-on time with the most advanced hobby level humanoid robots available, entry-level elementary school Summer engineering classes where students assemble and are trained on basic wheeled and flying robot kits, piloting sessions with flying robots, both education and game experience with robot simulation software, remote telepresence operation of wheeled robots, rental of robots for commercial and nonprofit exhibitions and promotions, and some pretty amazing new character robots.
Key supporters of the organization, each with almost a decade of humanoid robot experience, will also be available for lectures and promotional activity supporting the general theme of robots education and inspiring the dreams of the children that represent the next generation of engineers and robot creators.
It's early days for this new organization. It has just been officially announced. The initial website is operational, but still has many sections and a few pages that need to be filled out over the coming weeks and months. They are setting up a YouTube account to post videos, and are moving ahead very aggressively.Of course, Robots Dreams will do everything we can to help support this organization and make sure that it is successful in achieving its dream.