I have said it once, and I’ll say it again. 3D printing and robots will continue their inevitable convergence, leading to completely custom robots which can perform virtually any human-like task, and feature an appearance tailored to our individual preferences. We aren’t all the way there yet, but with 3D printing, we are getting ever so close.
One company, called RoboSavvy, is probably as close as any other company out there though, with their latest creation of a 3D printed humanoid robot. This robot is unlike any other robot you have seen before, and it is built mostly of 3D printed parts.
“The hands, fingers, forearms, head, chest shell, and several internal supports as well as the custom handle on the Segway are 3D printed,” Samantha Mehditash of RoboSavvy tells 3DPrint.com. “[The parts were printed on a] Makerbot Replicator 2X 3D Printer and our custom made large size 3D printer.”
This robot, which recently debuted at 4YFN Barcelona, uses a modified Segway in order to move around, and features an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in order to allow its operator to see exactly what it sees. In that way, it operates similarly to the InMoov Explorer, which we covered back in January.
“It is remotely operated, and its hand gestures and head can be remotely activated allowing human robot interaction,” Mehditash tells us. “It features 30 motors and an i7 computer. The base is a highly modified segway-like platform we created for robotic applications. The self-balance platform is remote controlled via RC by the user.”
The hope for this robot is that it becomes a tool for allowing people to have a virtual presence at different locations all over the globe, thus allowing them the capability of interacting with their hands, head, and more, in order to further express their own mood and demeanor. The term for this, according to RoboSavvy, is “Telepresence.”
As for the electronics behind this innovative 3D printed humanoid robot: It features embedded computing within, using ROS and powered by batteries. The batteries are managed by a custom electronic board which is made for this particular application, allowing hot-swapping of the battery source. The wheeled platform has a custom electronic board for self-balancing and a separate battery pack for autonomous motion. This, on top of the aforementioned 30 motors and the i7 processor, makes this robot quite the capable creation.
RoboSavvy plans to continue showcasing this robot in order to show off their capabilities, and for now are not selling them to the general public.
“We are, however, renting it for events, advertising campaigns and to other companies’ brands,” Mehditash tells us. “We can customize its appearance in different ways, using a 3d printed shell that is post processed or a fiberglass shell.”
It should be interesting to follow this company and see what they come up with next. Robots like this are our future, and they could be used in many different fields. What do you think about the potential that robots like this have in the future? Discuss in the RoboSavvy Humanoid Robot forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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