Bioloid is the first robotic kit based around 'smart serially controlled servos' that allows the user to build multiple types of robots: bi-pedal humanoid, dinosaur, dog, spider, excavator etc.. Robots can be built right out of the box that are autonomous and that can walk around, avoiding objects and listening for your commands.
Its networked servos and sensors with their own addresses allow components to be daisy-chained, so cabling is simpler. Servos and brackets have numerous mounting lugs for greater flexibility in assembling humanoids, spiders, snakes, quadrapeds etc.. Servos can act as continous drive motors with programmable speed, torque and stopping points.
The frames are made from injection molded plastic and are superbly designed - they fit and connect perfectly to each other as well as to the servos and sensors supplied in the kit.
The only tools you need to construct your robot are a screw driver and a set of small long nose pliers. The assembly instructions are also incredibly detailed - most importantly the orientation of the motor's shaft is explicitly shown where necessary, i.e. no trial and error.
Unlike Kondo's KHR-1 and Hitec's Robonova-I who offer comprehensive extensible humanoid kits, Robotis's Bioloid takes an approach similar to Lego/NXT by supplying generic building blocks like servos, connecting brackets and screws that allow you to build over 26 different articulated robots. Some example creatures that you're shown how to make include a dinosaur, puppy, spider, snake and humanoid robot.
There are two software utilities that come with the Bioloid kit, these are: Motion Editor - a GUI that allows you to create motion sequences for your robot and the Behaviour Control Program - a GUI that allows you to program sequences of events/motions. Both of these utilities are Freeware i.e. educational institutions can install the software on multiple PC's.
The Bioloid Kit includes a C development environment, wireless communication with a PC, wireless camera and image recognition workshop.You can program it to respond to distance (IR), sound and light as well as pictures.
For example, the sound sensor can distinguish between one clap and two, and respond with programmed behavioral changes. Sound and light sensors are built into a special category of servo that also has output and idler wheels.
Bioloid AX-12 Dynamixel servos have feedback sensors, gear reduction and network functions in one unit. Each servo has its own serial ID, so digital packet communication with each servo via daisy-chain wiring is possible. They can rotate continuously in either direction or operate like typical servos, and you can control torque, location and speed. Each servo has its own networked sensors, including three-directional distance detection (IR), three-directional light detection and discriminating sound detection. Servo feedback also includes monitoring of internal changes in temperature and voltage.
The CM-5 controller holds a 9.6V 2500mAh rechargeable NiMH battery. This controller offers 128 Kilobytes of Flash memory, six control buttons and it can control servos, IR/sound/remote controller/buzzer modules, an LCD module and it has a fuse for over-current protection. Operational times are 1-2 hours depending on the size of the robot and number of servos. The ZIG-100 wireless module will communicate with the CM-5 at 9,600-115,200 bps.