Surviving in the field of toy robotics isn’t easy – it takes durability, versatility, and no small measure of charm. Robonova-1 has been a favorite among amateur robotics engineers for over five years, which shows it has plenty of each. Produced by HiTEC, Robonova-1 is a short humanoid with sixteen degrees of freedom, a gold plate finish, and a glowing blue eye. What really lets it shine, however, are all the different ways it can be upgraded and programmed – ultrasonic sensors, voice recognition, dancing routines just to name a few. As Robonova chugs along in its sixth year of mechanical life, I thought it was a good time to get a look at what makes this veteran of the industry so appealing. Enjoy some of the cool and humorous videos of Robonova-1 in the video below.
One of the coolest parts of Robonova is its ability to interact well with voice commands. Watch how smoothly owner and bot interact in the following video. (This version of the Robonova-1 has been upgraded with a VRBot board.)
What good are voice commands, however, if your robot can’t actually perform some sweet moves? Robonova has you covered. Here’s a quick look at some of the versatile movements possible with the bot’s sixteen degrees of freedom.
Ultrasonic sensors let the robot find objects located in its vicinity…
…which can be used to create automated attack moves!
Upgraded hands with gripping action allow the Robonova to hold small objects and even write simple words. Not the best handwriting, but still pretty cool for an amateur robot:
With its range of possible applications, it’s no wonder that Robonova-1 has had a dedicated fan base for the past five years. The people who love it, really love it, teaching it to do everything from Greek folk dances to masquerading as Optimus Prime. It’s been entered into countless robot competitions, there are tons of videos of its antics, and it sells well in various markets around the world (though it can be hard to find in the US at times). While it’s pricetag is a bit steep ($800 to $1000+ depending on model and upgrades), it represents the high level of robotics available to even the most casual engineers. …Of course, every robot has its bad days. I leave you with one of Robonova’s more notorious embarrassing moments. Compared to show business, conquering the robotics world is easy:
[source: Robonova.de (German)]