RoboBuilder, a South Korean manufacturer of hobby robot kits, is set to launch two new do-it-yourself humanoids catering to very different markets. They’ll make use of the company’s new Smart Actuator Modules (SAMs), which are compatible with the older wCK servos and numbered by their rated torque. They were developed with the assistance of researchers at KwangWoon University and KIST.
The RQ-TITAN (short for Technological Innovation Towards ANdroids) is a large kit that can be assembled to stand 84~100 cm (33″~39″) tall and weighs 8.5~10 kg (19~22 lbs). In the photo up above you can see its legs standing next to the company’s current kit.
Intended as a research platform for RoboCup’s TeenSize League, it is priced at a whopping 30,800,000 KRW ($27,200 USD). This is mainly because powerful servos like the SAM-170 and SAM-140 don’t come cheap (roughly $600 and $440 USD each respectively). RoboBuilder may debut the RQ-TITAN in the TeenSize League at RoboCup this year in an attempt to one-up Robotis, a popular competing brand, which is also set to launch a TeenSize DARwIn robot sometime this year.
It comes with a 2-axis gyro sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, a USB camera, and is powered by a Windows-based Tiny PC. The default configuration comes with 22 degrees of freedom: head x2 (SAM-28), chest and shoulder x4 (SAM-140), arms x2 (SAM-28), legs x14 (SAM-170EO). It can also be expanded to include individually-actuated fingers and/or force sensors in its feet. Furthermore it can be controlled via smartphone, Xbox 360 game pad, or puppeteered through a smaller robot.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the RQ-HUNO is a tiny humanoid kit that measures just 19 cm (7.4″) tall, making it one of the smallest kits in the world (4 cm shorter than the Robovie-nano and 4 cm taller than the BeRobot). It has a total of 16 degrees of freedom using a combination of SAM-5 and SAM-3 servos, which pack just enough power for its small stature.
Given that it will likely be cheaper than the company’s flagship model (which can be had for $420 USD), the RQ-HUNO is set to be a very attractive entry-level kit. Hopefully it will actually launch with the exoskeleton options seen in the conceptual rendering, because if it does it’s not too far off from something like the cute J4. The only problem I have with it is the feet and ankle assembly seems a bit cramped. A video of the robot can be viewed after the break.
RoboBuilder @ Cafe Daum