We stopped by Kondo RoboSpot yesterday afternoon and happened to run into Dr. GIY tuning up the Nagoya Dragons "DOARA" mascot robot. Dr. GIY, one of the earliest participants in ROBO-ONE, a frequent champion, and technical advisor in the development of the Kyosho MANOI AT-01 humanoid robots, is well known world-wide. He was kind enough to spend some time answering our questions and gave us a private demonstration of the robots talents.
The DOARA robot, a modified MANOI design, was originally developed in 2009. The DOARA character is the mascot of the popular Nagoya Dragons major league baseball team. Baseball and movie fans may recall that the Dragons were the team that Tom Selleck played for in the "Mr. Baseball" movie.
The DOARA name is a combination of Dragons and Koala, though no one we talked to was able to explain why the koala connection came into being, other than the animals extremely cute nature and popularity with young women and children.
The limited edition DOARA robot, will be showcased at a special event taking place later this month at the Tokyu Hands store next to Nagoya station. The store is well known as a mecca for hobbyists, makers, and people involved in a wide range of handicrafts, so the robot is sure to draw a lot of attention. We're not sure of the planned list price, but when the robot was first introduced in 2009 it sold for over USD$5,000.
How about a little Dragons Baseball Spirit!