This handsome little robot is the creation of Glan Tang, who resides in Taichung, Taiwan. He was one of the original creators of the MechRC, but left to work with Dongyang Technology Co., Ltd.. The company’s flagship product is the 40cm (15″) tall BioROBO, which features proprietary serial servo motors (similar in form factor to these Futaba servos) and sound output capabilities. As you can see, it features an exoskeleton that conceals most of the servos and wiring, and it is easily assembled using ring-type brackets. It is being positioned as an educational robot platform suitable for competitions, and can be controlled with its dual joystick remotes.
Like the MechRC, BioROBO has LED eyes and 17 degrees of freedom (neck x 1, 2 arms x3, 2 legs x5). Motions are created on a timeline using simulation software which checks for collisions and balance. The metal gear, double bearing servos produce respectable 16~18 kg/cm torque (at 7.0V~8.0V), with a speed of 90°/0.2sec and an operating range of 180°. One thing to note is that it does not appear to have a gyro sensor or accelerometer.
So how much is it, and when will it be available? It went on sale in January (in China), and they have plans to distribute it internationally, though they are still doing lab testing. The servos will set you back 200 Chinese Yuan (excluding tax, that’s only about $31 USD!). The robot with full exoskeleton is 6,800 Chinese Yuan (excluding tax, that’s $1,050 USD), or 6,000 Chinese Yuan with just the head and frame ($930 USD) – though prices will vary once it goes international, of course.
It’s an attractive kit that sits comfortably between its competition from Taiwan: the diminutive BeRobot (GeStream Technology) and the Robotinno 2 (Innovati). And at that price, it begs the question why other kits with exoskeletons have been so much more expensive than those without. It seems to me that Robotis, Kondo, Vstone, and others should be making cheap, optional exoskeletons for all of their kits. They would certainly add some much-needed personality to the realm of hobby robotics.
The company sells a range of kits, including a 5 DOF gripper-arm, a quadruped robot with 4 DOF per leg, and a hexapod with a total of 18 DOF. No doubt distributors will be wanting to add Dongyang Technology’s robots to their list of products. See BioROBO in action in some videos (and check out more photos) after the break.
Video (Backward Somersault):