So You Think You
THE KT-X KIT FROM KUMOTEK.
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting the KT-X Bipedal Humanoid Robot from Kumo Tek.
Kumo Tek is a Texas-based robotics company with
products ranging from building inspection robots to
hobbyist kits. Kumo Tek is also quite expert in showmanship;
they’re the folks behind the RoboSUE exhibit at the
Chicago Field Museum. For those that haven’t visited the
RoboSUE exhibit, it features robotic dinosaurs that
interact with museum goers, including RoboSUE the
Tyrannosaurus Rex. Even the robots are bigger when
they’re from Texas.
Having conquered the prehistoric world, Kumo Tek is
jumping into an equally harrowing market – bipedal
humanoid servo robots. There are a lot of offerings out
there, and the KT-X Superbot strives to distinguish itself as
an accessible and expandable platform. With an intuitive
method of construction and sophisticated user-friendly
programming, we are confident that the KT-X has the
potential to dance itself to the top.
Dancing With The Parts
A VSTONE ROBOT SERVO.
The KT-X comes with 17 servos, and thus has 17
degrees of freedom. Other Kumo Tek models come with
different numbers of servos — like 13 for the KT-X Lite and
19 for the KT-X Gladiator. The KT-X comes with a CD choc
full of goodies, with everything from the robot software to
manuals and a long playlist of motion files.
Roboticists have the option to purchase the KT-X in
assembled or unassembled form. We wanted to try our
hand at the unassembled kit because having to put
everything together gives us a good idea of the bot’s
motion capabilities and limitations.
The construction manual gives step by step
instructions on how to put the robot together. While
there may be a slightly rocky start from a bit of
tortured translation, the bulk of the instructions are
given in clear and detailed diagrams.
Before diving into the assembly, the manual
provides a helpful explanation of part notation,
revealing that the cryptic names for screws like M2-3
refer to screws 2 mm in diameter with a 3 mm length
of threads. Servo humanoid kits are notorious for
requiring a plethora of miniature screws, but Kumotek
has taken measures to reduce the tedium. In addition
to the explanation of the naming scheme, the fact
that the screws come in clearly labeled resealable bags
is a refreshing example and often overlooked aspect
68 SERVO 11.2010