As new applications emerge for 3D printing, the market will prosper. That’s the general ideology of many companies and their executives with whom I have spoken at CES this week. It’s not necessarily the printer’s resolution, speed, or even price which will drive adoption rates within the industry, but instead the number of interesting things one canrob4 create.

While visiting XYZPrinting’s booth this week at 2015 CES my eye was drawn to an entire wall of robots which were approximately 18 inches tall. For those of you unaware, the company is actually a subsidiary of electronics giant Kinpo Electronics, and robotics is a part of Kinpo’s business plan. They have recently launched XYZRobots, which combines the ideas and programming behind the robotic movement with the DIY and 3D printing movement. Their first products are called Supreme Robot Soldiers, and from what I have seen they are quite impressive.

rob1

The idea behind XYZRobots is quite simple: provide the basic robotic framework to consumers, and they can use their XYZPrinting 3D printers to customize and assemble the backbone and the armor of their miniature little friends. The open hardware specifications enable fans to design and put on armor for XYZRobots, while they are also provided with a repository of designs where they can download, for free, diverse patterns of armor which can then be printed out and attached to the robot’s skeleton.

Aside from the 3D customization enabled by XYZRobots, users can also edit the motion program to become the little guy’s boss. Want your robot to fall over? How about squat, or swiftly walk backwards into a wall? That’s all possible by editing the program.

Two main Supreme Robot Soldier skeletons will soon be available. Priced at approximately $299 a piece, both skeletons are packed with technology which seems quite sufficient. Below are some of their specifications:

Advanced Robotrob2

  • Servomotor: 18 Dynamixel AX-12A motors
  • Main Controller: ATmega644P
  • Robot Height: 18.3 inches (46.3cm)
  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Remote Control: Bluetooth 2.0
  • Programming Key: 4 buttons
  • AC Adapter DC11.1V, 29A
  • Motion-editing Software: Pyrose/Arduino IDE

Intermediate Robotrob3

  • Servomotor: 4 STL-9894CTG Motors, 6 MG966R Motors
  • Main Controller: ATmega32U4
  • Robot Height: 16.9 inches (42.9cm)
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Remote Control: Bluetooth 2.0
  • Programming Key: 4 buttons
  • AC Adapter DC6.5V, 13.6A
  • Motion-editing Software: Pyrose/Arduino IDE

XYZRobots envision consumers purchasing these robots, customizing them, collaborating with their friends, and then taking part in robotic boxing games, speed tests, and the like. If this idea catches on, we could really see some interesting designs come about. At the very least this idea will provide yet one more interesting application to the tech community to warrant the possible purchase of a 3D printer.

Let’s hear your thoughts on these interesting little humanoid robots in the XYZRobots forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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