Kondo Robot just announced a new multi-legged robot kit, the KMR-M6, that incorporates features sure to make it a huge hit with educators, researchers, hobbyists, and avid robot competitors. Based on feedback from their large established user base, Kondo designed the robot to require only two servos per leg using a unique spring and multi-bar linkage approach that provides improved flexibility and stability even while tackling complex obstacles.
Although Kondo didn't explicitly state it, we're guessing that the "KMR-M6" naming comes from Kondo Multi-legged Robot - M 6 legs. In addition to the initial hexapod robot kit, the company will be selling individual leg assemblies and parts enabling customers to realize their own multi-legged robot configurations.
One servo controls the leg horizontal rotation while the second servo powers the leg linkage vertically. The unique linkage design was inspired by the company founder's long experience and know-how in designing similar mechanisms for the R/C control systems that made the company so well known in the hobby airplane and model world for decades.
The hexapod robot uses 12 Kondo KRS-2552HV ICS Red Version servos:
The robots 'brain' is the Kondo RCB-4HV. Power is supplied by a ROBO Power Cell 10.8V 800mAh Ni-MH battery. The controller and other on-board electronics are neatly packaged in a professionally designed enclosure on the robots back:
Designing for a low profile while providing maximum ground clearance when fully extended is always a significant challenge for multi-legged robots that are expected to be able to navigate across chaotic terrain without losing their balance or tipping over:
The stock body frames include both front and rear positions for optional servo mounting so that users can add robot heads and/or tails of their own design for cameras, sensors, grippers, and other functionality. The upper and lower body frames are fabricated from stock aluminum sheet so that users can easily fabricate variations if they want to add additional legs or incorporate other features:
The KMR-M6 Hexapod Robot is expected to begin shipments in early May and has a target price of 76,000 yen (approximately USD$880).