Good news and bad news. First the good - remember the Smart Doll Plus project from two years ago? Well I managed to pick it up again although in a slightly different form called Mirai Mannequin Machine.
The bad news is that these photos don't give off the incredible cuteness aura that the 1/2 scale Mirai gives in real life!
BUT! Maybe the video below will give you just a bit of that aura.
OK now we get to the nitty gritty as to why I dropped the Smart Doll Plus naming. Our background is making fashion dolls - and I think we do it pretty well - in the 3 short years that Smart Doll has been on the market, we have managed to gain 82% of the market share for fashion dolls in the 1/3 scale. I account this to our strong marketing strategy of targeting and creating a new market instead of aiming for a small niche group of doll hobbyists.
Our availability strategy means that we can grow our market share constantly through images and videos of our products that are consistent. Our recent coverage on CBS news brought in a huge wave of new customers giving us a 91% share of the US market.
Now - to understand our strengths, we must understand our weaknesses and I admit that making robots is not our forte - we have spent millions of yen developing prototypes which I didn't feel were market ready. For example, a consumer would expect a robotic arm to be replaceable just by pulling it off because they say C3P0 do it - this requires an engineering feat and millions more yens which we do not have in terms of cashflow or knowhow.
Now I do happen to know a chap that knows a thing or two about robotics - Tomotaka Takahashi - the inventor of Robohon who has also put robots in space - we will be meeting up after the Isetan event for some wheeling n dealing.
Apple's latest MacBook Pro 15 Inch has got 4 usb-c ports so I thought I'd get one better and make our Mirai mannequin Machine a 5 USB-C port machine - 2 behind the neck and 3 on the belly.
Tech Specs are as follows:-
Smart Doll is modeled in 3D using the industry standard ZBrush - and because we use 3D technology, we can scale down or scale up the data to 3D print various sizes.
We use the ATOM 3D printer for all our prototyping and masters. The build volume of the ATOM was large enough for us to develop Mirai Mannequin Machine too.
The first thing you should know - that painful looking pole-up-the-bottom is not actually up the bottom and fixed to the back of the torso just like the 1/3 scale Smart Dolls. While some folks do like it up the bottom...actually lets not go there.
Because we also design all Smart Doll apparel, we just scale up the patterns just like we did here for the boat neck and trousers.
You can check out what apparel we already have for our 1/3 scale Smart Doll to see what sort of wear is in store for the 1/2 scale Mirai Mannequin Machine.
The first Mirai Mannequin Machine to be released will be Mirai then Ebony, Ivory, Julia, Harmony, Kizuna and then Chitose. The rest of the boys n girls will be released next year - check the Smart Doll shop to see what to expect next.
Keep an eye on my Twitter for release dates.
The outer shell material is the same as the 1/3 scale Smart Dolls - soft vinyl but the casting method is different due to the larger scale. We use a method called Rotation Slush Casting which require huge ovens to be installed in our facilities.
The inner frame material however is different and made from a High Speed Carbon Fiber that we developed called Confuscale - its a single membrane with no visible joints that can also stretch. The atoms structure means that its too big for the 1/3 scale though.