Back in 2009 when AIST and General Robotix first unveiled the HRP-2m Next (their latest miniature humanoid research platform) we were disappointed that it wasn’t wearing a cool exoskeleton. After all, its predecessor (the HRP-2m Choromet) was clad in a futuristic shell similar to that of the HRP-2 Promet, its bigger brother.
As luck would have it an exoskeleton is in the works but they have yet to manufacture it. No firm date on when we can expect to see it, but it’s something to look forward to for us robot geeks.
What originally grabbed our attention were these photos of the Choromet-2 (CR-02 for short). It’s the handiwork of Jin Sato (of JS Robotics), made especially for public demonstrations at Science Square Tsukuba’s robotics exhibit. It may not be the official design but its bright, patriotic colors and new head give the bare-bones HRP-2m Next some much needed personality. Also on hand at the museum are the two major HRP prototypes, the entertainment dinosaurs built in collaboration with Kokoro Co. Ltd., and a hands-on area starring the lovable seal pup Paro.
Sadly we don’t have any videos of Choromet-2 in action, but more photos can be enjoyed after the break. In the meantime, enjoy this video of a Transforming robot built by Kenji Ishida with the help of JS Robotics. Jin Sato most likely helped out with the plastic exoskeleton. Unfortunately it seems the companies behind the Transformers brand don’t know how to interact with their fans, and have bullied Kenji Ishida into removing his videos from his YouTube channel.