While robotics has been one of the technologies ‘of the future’ ever since I can remember, the field is finally coming into its own led by demands in manufacturing, along with numerous innovations in electronics, engineering, and design–as well as the advent of 3D printing which has given it a massive boost on every level.
Thanks to the ease offered by digital design, allowing for tweaks, edits, and rebuilding on whim, along with the ability to 3D print from the home or workshop, now the hobbyist is able to have a great deal of modern success with robots as well. Adding to the momentum are larger numbers of innovative programmers and electronics engineers who are able to share their open-source projects from large to small.
This latest project by Fabian Munzinger, just launched on Indiegogo, is a great example of a project being shared by someone with not only the knowledge and expertise to build a robot from scratch at home, but also with the knowledge and appreciation for what this would cost without the technology of 3D printing. A German programmer who explores a passion for robotics in his free time, Munzinger worked for three years on the open source home robot, and he hopes to raise $45,000 in funding in the next 30 days.
“…If you will buy a robot it will cost you more than 12000$ and this is too much for the most people and me. So I decide to make a low cost version of an home robot, that can build everyone with an easy step-by-step guide,” says Munzinger on his Indiegogo site. “And you don’t need to buy the robot complete , you can build it in steps. This solution allows more people to have this robot.”
For the hobbyist, Munzinger explains that this is a great project at the beginning to medium level for learning valuable, solid skills in programming, electronics, and robotics–all which can be built upon further.
Standing at around 23 inches, this robot can be controlled by you, allowing for you to not only see and hear what he’s doing, but communicate as well.
“It has a powerful on-board computer(Raspberry Pi 2 or Pcduino v3) that can do things like voice recognition and voice commands,” said Munzinger, so “it is truly open for your imagination and easy to [program].”
Equipped with WiFi/Bluetooth, wide angle USB video, and microphone and speaker, the 3D printed home robot can stand, walk, and even follow you. Comprehensive control is possible by phone, picture, or voice activation. There’s even a bottle and plate holder built into the design for your convenience.
Lights and sensors are integrated into the design as follows:
- Four LED lights that turn off and on automatically
- Power LED which shows energy levels
- Multi-color LEDs on head for customization
- Seven distance sensors; three ultra-sonic sensors; four IR sensors for avoiding obstacles
- Gyro sensor for balancing
If you’d like to support this project, for as little as $100, you can receive one of Munzinger’s miniature 3D printed robot figures, with shipping expenses included (for all perks). At $550, supporters receive the 3D printed parts kit. At $650, you receive the kit, but in your choice of color. At $950, supporters receive the kit, color preference, as well as electronics.
Munzinger plans to buy a new 3D printer once funding is complete, to begin manufacturing of the robots to fulfill orders and go from there. He also plans to release the design and software files once funding is complete.
Are you planning to support this campaign? Have you dabbled in 3D printed robotics previously? Discuss in the DIY 3D Printed Robot forum thread over at 3DPB.com.