Japan has revolutionized their traditional karakuri puppets by embedding a set of servomotors within the plastics. Market of action figures is already booming in Japan, hence, the plastic model industry is going to be the next big thing in the country. Taking this into consideration, Speecys, a robotics company came up with their Motion Figure system, which they claim is pioneering the spirit of robotic action figures not only in the nation but also across the globe.
The firm has come up with their first prototype called the MF-201, which is 25 cm tall. Its structure is that of a human skeleton but with 20 wire-driven joints, that gives freedom to its head, limbs and torso.
Hi-tech set of karakuri puppets
The wires are passed through the body to one of the legs that give support to the entire structure. The strands are then fed to the underlying box and into the set of servomotors. Along with the actuator, the box is also laden with sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth LE and speakers, thus, forming the modern day hi-tech set of karakuri puppets.
A line of exchangeable plastic accessories
Speecys envisions marketing the MF-201 in collaboration with other major manufacturing players so that they can create a line of exchangeable plastic accessories like heads and body parts that are derived from pop culture icons. Along with the plastic figures, the developers want to give freedom to their customers in constructing numerous characters right from animated shows, movies, games and comic books. Different poses, dances and catchphrases too would be included by making software a part of the system.
Speecy have already come out with face and speech recognition robots like SPC-101C Humanoid Robot and so they are hopeful of including the similar technology in their robotic action figures as well.
Motion Figure system is expected to cost around $500 to $1000, which of course is slightly high but one can expect that much to pay for upgrading their plastic model assortment into a team of high-tech robotic action figures.
Source: [Japan Trends], [IEEE spectrum]