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Fleet-of-foot Kyosho “MANOI”



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At the 2005 iHobbyExpo held in October at the LA Convention Center, Kyosho introduced the new “MANOI” android. MANOI is the product of a partnership between well known hobby robot manufacturer KONDO and Kyosho, a leading manufacturer of radio control models of all types. The MANOI’s name is derived from the word “humanoid,” sans the letters h, u and d.

Hirotoshi Kondo, President of Kondo Kagaku Co, holds a copy of ROBOT magazine at the iHobbyExpo tradeshow.

Videos of this Robo-one class humanoid robot showed that it possesses an ability to jog and even run in a remarkably smooth and agile manner—this appears to be a new advance in the rapidly expanding Robo-One front. Kyosho president Aki Suzuki observed that MANOI is among the lightest robots in its category, and that further development could lead to substantially lighter androids.

MANOI creator Tomotaka Takahashi has developed such notable robots as CHROINO (chosen by Time Magazine as one of the “Coolest Inventions of 2004”) and GUNWALKER Takahashi’s robotic endeavors are far reaching; he was a World RoboCup Champion at the 2004 (Lisbon) and 2005 (Osaka) tournaments. Photo by George Mitsuoka.

Noted robot designer Tomotaka Takahashi created the 15.7-inch tall, 1/5th scale MANOI and equipped it with a “character costume” to add human warmth and appeal—making it more of an entertainment android than just a robot. The costume does not affect the functionality of MANOI or the articulation of any of its limbs. See an exclusive video of a Takahashi-designed humanoid bot in action, taken by George Mitsuoka, at www.botmag.com/issue2.

NEW ACTUATORS: The new specially designed servo actuators and cast resin servo brackets, as well as a new high performance mother board, are key components. The newly developed actuator boasts high torque, high speed and high precision. The high-precision resin brackets, unique among mass production robot models, enable extremely smooth movement at an affordable price. These state-of-the-art technologies were developed by Kondo Kagaku Co., Ltd, a worldwide leader in the hobby robot industry.

Prototype for performance evaluation.


MANOI with external character costume. Flexible costumes are said be in R & D

At iHobbyExpo, Kyosho announced that it plans to hold the first “Kyosho Athletics Humanoid Cup” in latter 2006. Thereafter, three to four events per year are scheduled. The first is the 5-meter run; a 20-meter run— a 1/5 scale version of the 100 meter track event—is under active consideration as a future event. Tentative release date: June 2006. Contact Kyosho for more information.

ROBOT will keep you posted on the latest Kyosho MANOI developments.