Since the English version of the AT01 manual doesn't exist, and the software translated ones that used to circulate on this forum seem to be impossible to find, I began translating the Japanese manual myself, by using Google Translate, and then adjusting the translations for them to say what they actually meant to say.
Unfortunately I didn't have any experience editing PDF documents before now. The PDF editors I found and tried did not allow me to manipulate the text the way I would have liked. Some only let me edit one character at a time, others keep forgetting what font i want to paste the translated text in, and there are other problems. I'm sure it's doable, but since it's the first time for me, it would probably take me too long to learn all the tricks...
So instead I decided to try converting the PDF to a Word DOC file. It took several attempts with multiple programs and their various conversion options. Most of them failed miserably, but in the end I finally succeeded in creating an MS Word replica of the manual that looks almost identical to the original.
The program (Nitro PDF) did an amazing job in keeping everything in it's place, while also keeping all the text completely editable.
There are minor issues however. The page titles and certain notes and remarks are supposed to be nicely centered on specific backgrounds (clouds?), and surprisingly, they are! But the only thing keeping them in place is all the text that came before them and it's formatting...
So if i change anything on one page, it affects all the pages after it, unless i keep the text size and length exactly the same.
Additionally there are tabs with vertical text on the very right of the manual (meant for quick searching), the text in which was converted as a part of the regular text on the pages (it's all one continuous text), and was simply "pushed" to the very right with empty spaces - they are not in separate text windows, so it's actually quite incredible, that everything came out as well as it did!
One issue is in the fact, that in the original PDF document, the diagrams are drawn in vector graphics. You can zoom in all you want and still get a clear picture. In the DOC file however, the diagrams were converted into regular images. Their resolution is good enough as far as i can tell, but Word may render them somewhat strange, when their size is reduced from the original converted image resolution, especially when viewed on lower resolution screens.
I believe they would look a lot better on higher resolution monitors, but i am temporarily limited to an old laptop (1024x768), as my good one burnt out, so i can't be 100% sure just yet, but i will test how they look on a better monitor as soon as i can... If the document was printed however, the drawings would look the way they do in the original printed manual.
I will translate and correct everything as far as I can, before I actually start building, and then correct the rest of the translations during the assembly, when I figure out what they meant to say, in case it's not immediately evident from the software translation.
I will do everything I can to keep the texts correctly positioned within backgrounds and/or next to the corresponding images and diagrams, but it will probably require a few tricks here and there.
It might not end up perfectly looking (some translated titles or notes could end up being longer than the backgrounds they are supposed to be in), and there may be some excess data in the file, that I'll simply have to hide in the background in case removing it would disturb the layout too much...
But it will be a proper English manual you can actually use to build the robot from start to finish.
Since this is an old robot kit, there is currently only one other person (that i know of), who is actually looking for an English manual, but as far as I can tell, the robot is still for sale, so there might be others in the future. Maybe there are even some who would like to buy the robot, but are worried about the lack of any English instructions...
So when i'm done, I'll post the translated document in this thread, in case anyone ever needs it in the future.
P.S. If anyone has experience with editing PDF documents, and knows of a good program, where it would be as easy to change and replace the texts as it is in MS Word, please let me know.
The end result would still look better if I didn't have to convert it to Word for editing. I think a good PDF Editor would allow the backgrounds and clouds (or whatever they are called) to be adjusted in size when needed, and most likely it would also allow changing the text and its formatting without the changes affecting the layout of the pages after it. Not to mention, that the diagrams would remain in vector graphics...
So i'm still open to suggestions... Thanks!