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Q. Do you know of any
humanoid robot kits that
cost less than a $1,000? I like
the ROBONOVA and KHR-1 body
designs with all of the motors and
flexibility, but it costs way too much
money for me. I was wondering if you
happened to know of any cheaper
robots out there.
— Andy Kerns
Figure 1. I-Sobot.
A. When it comes to fully articulated
humanoid robots, the ROBONOVA
( www.robonova.com) and the
Kondo KHR-2HV (www.kondo-robot.
com or visit www.trossenrobotics.
com) can be purchased for around
$1,000. The Kondo KHR-2HV is the next
generation of the KHR-1 and is a little
less expensive than the KHR-1.
Since humanoid robots are becoming more popular,
there are new robot
designs coming out
each year. A couple
that I am aware of are
the I-Sobot ( www.iso
costs around $300 and
the RoboPhilo (www.
costs about $500. I
don’t have any personal
experience with either
of these two robots,
but from what I can see
Figure 2. RoboPhilo.
6. 5 inches 13 inches
12 oz. 38 oz.
3 AAA NiMH 6V NiMH
Built-in Gyro, Voice Recognition, Pre-programmed
Special Features Speaker, Pre-programmed Motions,
Motions, Programmable Programmable
Approximate Costs $299 ~$500
Table 1. I-Sobot and RoboPhilo Humanoid Robot Specifications.
from the videos on their websites, they
are very impressive. The I-Sobot is
currently available from several places,
such as Amazon ( www.amazon.com).
The RoboPhilo kit should be available by
December 2007. Table 1 shows a few
basic specifications for these two robots.
Another option to consider is the
BRAT from Lynxmotion ( www.lynx
motion.com) which costs less than $300
for the basic kit. This is a very basic
bipedal robot kit that has a total of six
servos (three for each leg). It requires
assembly and a connection with a PC
to control the robot. If you add your
own electronics and develop your own
walking routines, the BRAT can become
For those people that want a
challenging project, the BRAT is an
inexpensive route to get started. All of
the parts on the BRAT are interchangeable and expandable, so at a later time,
the BRAT can be reconfigured with
some additional parts to make a 17 or
19 degree of freedom robot.
On the subject of reconfigurable
robot kits, you might want to take a look
at look at the Bioloid ( www.tribotix.
com) robotics kit. This is a very good
general-purpose robot kit which allows
you to build many different types of
robots, such as dogs, spiders, six-servo
walkers like the Lynxmotion BRAT, and
even the big 17+ servo humanoid robots.
The Bioloid robots use the Dynamixel
servos, which are some of the most
advanced robotics servos on the market.
To be able to build a humanoid
14 SERVO 12.2007