Give That Robot A Hand!

Robot


Well, the design gurus at Kyosho (or some devoted MANOI cusotmers) have been putting in some serious overtime hours. In addition to the new sets of body shells we mentioned yesterday, they are also in the process of cranking out a series of new MANOI based options and add-ons.

One of their most useful, and exciting, new options is a fully functional, and artfully articulated, hand for the MANOI AT01 series humanoid robot. The new robot hand has five fingers, including an opposable thumb.


(more…)

Read More

Dr. GIY Out To Set New Robot Speed Records (Video)

Robot


Most of the humanoid robot builders, including ourselves, think they are lucky if they can keep their robots standing, or perhaps walking slowly. But, there are a few builders that really excel. They build, or hack, humanoids to the point that the robots performance is really surprising.

A recent case in point is the Kyosho MANOI AT01 robot modified by Dr. GIY. One of the key events in the Kyosho Athlete Humanoid Cup competitions is a 5 meter dash. It's challenging enough to get your robot to walk in a straight line, much less run. And, with only 17 degrees of freedom, the stock AT01 robot usually takes some difficult, and time consuming, course corrections.

But, through a liberal application of his own special magic, Dr. GIY has hacked his AT01 to the extent that it rockets down the 5 meter sprint course in 10 seconds, and course corrects on the fly without loosing even a millisecond in wasted moves. Even more amazing - when it reached the end of the course it literally stops on a dime!

(more…)

Read More

Just Your Average Ordinary Sunday Afternoon (Video)

Robot
As you can see from the video below, it was just your average, ordinary Winter Sunday afternoon in Akihabara.

As long as the weather is good, they block off the main street to cars and let the pedestrians, and street performers take over and enjoy themselves. The police do step in from time to time to break up some of the performances since the buskers rarely have permits.

And, of course, you can always find some robots performing too!

(more…)

Read More

Scary Halloween Family Portrait

robot
  Left to right: i-SOBOT (Japanese edition), Mondai-Noid (MANOI AT01), and Gogic Five

Our i-SOBOT hasn't been given a name yet since he just arrived and his batteries were charging. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that Mondai-Noid is enjoying Kondo's new RoboStand. We like it a lot, and will be posting a review of this useful accessory soon.

Read More

iHobby Expo: Robots, Robots, Robots! (Video)

robot
  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.

(more…)

Read More

Kondo's Secret Response to the Kyosho Robo Hopper

robot
A couple days ago we posted about Kyosho's new Robo Hopper flying robot helicopter. That immediately caught the attention of I-Wei at Crab-Fu. Not only is he a devoted steam punk robot creator, and a KHR-2HV fanatic, it turns out that he also loves flying RC helicopters. 

Here's what he wrote in response to our post:

"Kyosho robots takes to the sky eh? pffffffft old news! and I thought you were suppose to be IN on the latest in the robotics world.... I'm surprised that you didn't know about Kondo's GENEX-Heli!"

Well, we had to admit that we must have been sleeping because we hadn't heard about Kondo's new robot helicopter until we got a look at the photo that he sent us as proof.

(more…)

Read More

More "Senses" for the Kyosho MANOI and Kondo Robots

Robot
Kondo has announced an upgrade to the RCB-3 robot controller board that features support of the new Kyosho 32PORT/RCB-3 sensor board (pictured at left). We guessing, because detailed information on the Kyosho board isn't available yet, that this will address the analog sensor port limitation of the RCB-3 based robots, and really stimulate the development of autonomous applications. This will probably include the KHR-1HV and Kyosho MANOI AT01 and PF01 robots. Given this exciting development, it's easy to imagine a team of autonomous AT01 robots going head to head against an Alderbaran NAO team when RoboCup 2008 rolls around. 

The new sensor board is a Kyosho product, and Kondo does not intend to resell it, but has upgraded the RCB-3 firmware to fully support the board. The Kondo announcement does state that the firmware and Heart to Heart 3 (H2H3) application software upgrade only applies to RCB-3 controllers and is not compatible with the RCB-3J controllers (used for the KHR-2HV robots) at this time. That's likely to be a 'bummer' for KHR-2HV users.

In terms of additional RCB-3 and H2H3 functionality, the upgrade adds support for the Kyosho sensor board, but does not include any other changes or improvements. So, if you are already using Ver1.03 of the firmware and don't plan to use the new sensor board, there is no compelling reason to upgrade at this time.

Read More