It's going to take us a day or two to translate, and perhaps longer than that to figure out the full implications, but it appears that HPI will be rolling out a long list of new parts and other items for its popular G-ROBOT humanoid robot kits.
The G-ROBOTS line was designed in conjunction with Futaba, and is essentially identical to the Futaba RBT-1 robot sold in the US. At this point there is no word on whether or not the same new parts will be made available for sale outside of Japan.
Here's the scenario: A few years ago we bought a Kondo KHR-1 (the original version) and took a two day class covering how to assemble, test, and program the humanoid robot. As fate would have it, we also had the opportunity to sit in on a pre-release private seminar on the RCB-3 robot controller board. The board was released for sale within about a month, and was quickly followed by the new KHR-2HV humanoid robot that used the controller board.
Now, a couple years later, Kondo has just announced a brand new controller board, the KCB-1, that looks pretty sweet, at least from the published specifications (see below). Will history repeat itself? Will Kondo release a hot new humanoid robot in the near future? It's any body's guess. We don't have any inside info on this one, but we would sure love to...
’Kondo Rolls Out New Robot Controller Board’ continues
Unfortunately we had a family situation to deal with on Saturday and missed the ROBO-ONE Grand Championship competition staged on the last day of the IREX show here in Tokyo.
We have to say that some of the action, especially King Kizer's strategic moves, both defensive and offensive, are quite amazing. He definitely earned the championship.
We did one of the first reviews of the Futaba based HPI G-Robot when it was first introduced to the press almost a year ago, and have to admit the design and performance was quite impressive, even if it was a little pricey.
Since then Futaba has released basically the same design in the US, at a lower price point, as the RBT-1 humanoid robot. So, we were quite interested to see how the Futaba robotics group staff would show off the robot to its best advantage.
We got exactly that opportunity (see video below) a couple weeks ago at the All Japan Plastic Model/Radio Control show at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center complex.
’Futaba RBT-1 Robots Strut Their Stuff (Video)’ continues
Left to Right: Futaba RBT-1, RoboPhilo, RoboNova I
Although we weren't personally able to make the trek all the way from Japan to Chicago, thanks to all of our great readers that sent in reports, photos, and videos it feels like we were actually there enjoying all the fun and excitement. The latest contribution was lots of great video footage sent in by Marc Lampcov, the CEO of RoboFactors, LLC.
Marc must have spent countless hours capturing all the participating robots on camera because his footage (see below) includes great performances by the RoboPhilo, Robotis Bioloid, Futaba RBT-1, Robonova I, and much, much more.
’iHobby Expo: Robots, Robots, Robots! (Video)’ continues
Standing 55 cm tall, and weighing just a fraction under 5 kg, Aerobattler MON is truly a robot monster. Equipped with Futaba servos, the robot has knee extensions that force opponents to keep their distance, large grippers capable of grasping the unwary foe, and a powerful hip servo that allows it to rotate its whole upper body in a circle frequently knocking the other robot completely off its feet.
Before you ask, yes - it does conform to the ROBO-ONE regulations. Keep in mind that while the ROBO-ONE committee does want the builders to follow 'humanoid' style, the consistent ROBO-ONE theme since Day One has been 'Biped Robot Entertainment'.
And, on that score, Aerobattler MON absolutely excels. During the first day's demonstration phase, he racked up 378 points to take 10th position. Then, during the bouts in the ring, he won his first two matches before being defeated by Gadget-F, one of the 4+ kg robots from the Gadget Team. That put him into a play off against King Kizer (3.77 kg) where he did quite well, but lost in the end. Even when he loses there are lots of gasps and muffled cheers of support for him from the audience.