At the Code Conference in California this week, Intel revealed that its 3D-printed Jimmy Research Robot, which debuted at Maker Faire NYC last year, will be available through its 21st Century Robot Project later this year. Users will be able to download the files required for printing.

The 21st Century Robot Project aims to give anyone the opportunity to create and customize their own robot, with a view to increasing the growth-rate, diversity and utility of robots. The scheme is the brainchild of Intel futurist Brian David Johnson and has been brought to fruition in collaboration with developers from the University of Southern California, Olin College and Trossen Robotics.

Johnson hopes that using an open-source model to share user designs will help to spark innovation and creativity in robot design amongst the public.

"What's so exciting about the open source model is the public gets involved in developing this first generation of crowd-sourced, consumer robots," he says. "We all get a say in what they do, and together we will come up with far more ideas, more innovation, and more creativity."

Johnson worked with a team of researchers at Intel to design Jimmy, and to create the files for printing and programming the robot. It has an modular aluminum exoskeleton that can expanded and tweaked. It is powered by an an Intel NUC D54250WYK mini PC with a Core i5-4250U 4th Generation Haswell chipset, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 32 GB SSD.

A variety of connectivity options are available, including Xbee, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth for wireless interfacing. Jimmy also features USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI/Display Port video output, an Ethernet connection, SATA port, 2x mini-PCIe slots and up to 8-channel audio.

"By inviting the public to participate in the evolution of robots and fast-tracking innovation, the number of possibilities increase exponentially and hasten the reality of new developments in areas like healthcare, public transportation, and other sectors that can vastly improve all our lives," says Intel on its website.

The company says it expects consumers to be able to create their own customizable robots for under US$1,000.

The video below provides an introduction to Jimmy.

Source: Intel