If I was to tell you five years ago, that by 2015 you will be able to print a robot out on a printer, you would probably have thought I was insane. Well, if Intel has anything to say about it, by next year, their 3D printed, two foot tall robot named Jimmy will be available to the public. It may take a little assembly, but the vast majority of the robot does in fact originate from plastic filament extruded from a 3D printer.
Last September, Intel revealed to the world that they were working on this project at Maker Faire in New York City. That’s when Intel’s futurist, Brian David Johnson, gave a few key details about the project. Here we are eight months later and another wave of information has emerged about this 3D printed machine.
Today Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich was on hand at the ‘<re/code> Conference’. This is where he revealed Jimmy, showing off some of its capabilities. It was also revealed that Intel expects to sell the kits to make these robots sometime next year, at 21stCenturyRobot.com, starting at just $1600. The kit will include all the electronics and non 3D printed parts needed to construct Jimmy, as well as an Intel Edison ‘computer on a chip’, which will act as Jimmy’s brains. Intel will also offer pricier kits which include more powerful processors. This includes a $16,000 version which will use an i5 Core processor to control Jimmy.
The actual design for Jimmy’s frame will be open source and available for free to the general public. Intel hopes that the maker movement will get excited and adopt Jimmy, creating new designs upon the open source framework, allowing for complete personalization.
“It’s like a smartphone with legs,” said Intel’s Brian David Johnson. “Your robot will be completely different from mine; you customize it and program the artificial intelligence, not by having a PhD in robotics, but by downloading apps.”
Intel also has plans to attract developers who wish to make applications for Jimmy. For instance, owners of the robot could log onto a website, download an app to make Jimmy fetch and open a beer, upload that app to Jimmy, and watch in amazement as he waits hand and (3D printed) foot, on them.
This really could put the power of robotics, as well as 3D printing into the hands of millions of people, getting them excited about what these technologies are capable of. If you think that downloading new apps for your phone, to play games is exciting, wait until you are able to download apps for Jimmy, who can do all sorts of crazy things.
Discuss Intel’s futuristic 3D printed robot at the 3DPB.com forum thread for Jimmy the Robot. Check out the video below of Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich showing off the robot earlier today.
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