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Vstone Updates Its Website, Begins Selling Robotic Cars

It’s a new year, and Osaka-based robotics company Vstone has given its website a major overhaul.  The company’s flagship robotics kits are now available internationally through their distributor Kumotek and the dependable RobotShop.  Vstone was the primary backer of  ex-RoboCup champions Team Osaka, but retired the team due to financial reasons after a 4 year winning streak.  Even with several wins to their credit, I doubt anyone is keen on buying Team Osaka robots at $50,000 a pop, but hobbyists looking for something other than the usual Kondo and Robotis kits might want to check out their competitively priced Robovie-X biped.

The company is also going head-to-head with another Japanese firm, ZMP, in the race for the dominant research platform for next-generation electric vehicles.  ZMP’s RoboCar Z was the first 1/10 scale robotic car to market, and comes with a software suite and sensors such as stereo cameras.  It costs between 688,000 ~ 850,000 JPY ($8,300 ~ $10,200 USD), which seems a tad overpriced.  Vstone’s Beauto EV is also a 1/10 scale robotic car, but costs only 399,000 JPY ($4,800 USD).  The catch is that it comes with fewer sensors and software, and optional stuff (like adding a laser range finder) will add significantly to the price.

[source: Vstone (JP)] & [RobotShop]