Ever since 2014, Italy-based Youbionic, which was founded by Federico Ciccarese and specializes in robotics and bionics, has been working on its 3D printed, robot-controlled, bionic prosthetic hand. The company started taking pre-orders for the bionic prosthetic two years ago, and has since been making improvements and updates to the original model, even coming out with a 3D printed double hand device for the augmented human. Now, Youbionic has released its latest bionic product – the Youbionic One.
“We believe that technology at our disposal today can be used for the increase in human capabilities and intervention in the replacement of parts of our body which are not working properly,” Ciccarese wrote in an email.
“Youbionic is committed every day to create technologies that can elevate mankind to a higher level.”
The company is reinventing what robotics can do with the unique Youbionic One assistant device. Users can learn to program the Youbionic One so it can perform tasks to make their lives easier, either through remote control or independently.
You can purchase the STL files for 3D printing your own Youbionic One for $179 on the company’s website. If you want, you can even modify and customize the device before 3D printing so it better fits your lifestyle – edit its functionality, change its size, whatever you need.
“We believe everyone should have access to the incredible technology available in our modern age,” Youbionic states on its website.
To provide an example of the kind of customization that can be achieved with the 3D printable device, or perhaps to give us all nightmares for the rest of our lives, Youbionic partnered with advanced robotics company Boston Dynamics to modify the Youbionic One…by combining it with the SpotMini robot dog.
“The fusion between two bionic bodies Youbionic One and Boston Dynamics Spot Mini has generated a Centaur Mechanic ready to perform operations of all kinds,” the Youbionic website states.
“It will be interesting how the two Intelligences will work together to synchronize their movements.”
The four-legged, all-electric SpotMini robot is the ideal quadruped for the digital age, complete with a 3D vision system and the ability to go for roughly 90 minutes on a charge, depending on its specific activity.
The 25 kg robot has 17 joints, can support a 14 kg payload, and is Boston Dynamics’ quietest robot yet. Capable of climbing stairs, handling objects, and doing its owner’s bidding, the SpotMini would work well in a home, office, or even outdoors.
Boston Dynamics has given the SpotMini all of the mobility from its big brother robot dog Spot, which we saw in last year’s immersive virtual reality documentary miniseries by GE, called The Possible. But it also has new features, like a fancy perception sensor suite featuring depth and stereo cameras to help with mobile manipulation and navigation.
All by itself, the SpotMini doesn’t look too frightening…as long it doesn’t start running directly at you. But combine it with the striking Youbionic One, and you’ve got a personal assistant device that’s basically a technologically advanced hellhound.
Obviously, the Youbionic One/SpotMini Centaur Mechanic hybrid could be very useful for someone who needs help with tasks that require basic motor skills, like getting the mail or pouring a glass of water. But, just to be on the safe side, you’d better make sure this bionic beastie is turned off when you go to sleep at night.
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