Gakken, a leading Japanese publisher of science related magazines and low cost kits just released Volume 33 in the popular Otona No Kagaku series. I was surprised, and very pleased to find Kazuki Sumi's humanoid robot creation, Doka Harumi with a feature article in the magazine.
Like most of the Gakken publications, Volume 33 centers around a simple kit, this time it's a miniature version of the Roomba robot that includes enough functionality to effectively mimic it's real life counterpart. The design is rather unique in that it can accomplish all of that with just minimal electronics and only one drive motor - but more on that in another post.
In addition to the robot kit, Gakken always includes a beautifully executed full color magazine chock full of articles to interest and inspire readers. Doka Harumi, a top competitor in the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Robot Project competitions, was an excellent choice.
Here's Doka Harumi in December, 2010 during the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Robot Project competition:
Much earlier the same year (February 2010), Doka Harumi attempted a more limited version of the same ROBO-ONE competition. You can see how much the robots design improved over the subsequent 10 months.
Otona No Kagaku Volume 33 featuring the mini-Roomba robot kit costs just under 3,000 yen here in Japan. Gakken typically releases English versions of their most popular kits sometime after the initial Japan release, but no schedule information is available yet.
I'll be posting more about the robot, including some assembly photos and videos soon.