By Andrew Liszewski
While the million dollar Honda Asimo is falling down stairs this 9-inch tall robot called PLEN from Japanese company Systec Akazawa is riding around on its own custom pair of roller skates and skateboard.
The pint-sized mechanical man has 18 joints and uses a built-in 3 axis accelerometer to walk, dance and maybe even one day compete in the X-Games. It can be controlled via special software running on your PC or even with a bluetooth enabled phone. I highly recommend heading over to the PLEN website and clicking on the ‘Gallery’ section to watch a couple videos of the robot in action. I found the clip of it steering the skateboard particularly impressive.
The PLEN is available in Japan at the moment for about $2200 to $2300.
(And before the comments are filled with accusations of how I don’t realize how difficult it is to build a full-size bi-pedal walking robot let me just say that I realize Asimo is an impressive piece of technology. In fact I cringe every time it hits the floor in that video.)