Intel 3D-printed robot available later this year

Intel 3D-printed robot available later this year
Intel has announced that its 3D printed Jimmy robot will be available to consumers later this year
Intel has announced that its 3D printed Jimmy robot will be available to consumers later this year
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Intel has announced that its 3D printed Jimmy robot will be available to consumers later this year
Intel has announced that its 3D printed Jimmy robot will be available to consumers later this year

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

As much as I love this idea I am so incredibly disappointed that they decided to exclude a wheeled platform. How much energy, complexity, and cost is involved in just being able to move? If it can't climb stairs why take on all the costs associated with using a legged platform?
When meeting C3P0's mobility is a prerequisite to even begin with an entry level robot you create a huge unnecessary barrier to entry that prevents other progress in consumer robotics. Why no love for R2D2's tried and trusted wheels as a development platform or even a track like Wall-E?
A much cheaper wheeled version would lower costs and allow more focus to be placed on other aspects of the robot like sensors, capability, and toolkit. By limiting this to a legged platform they have ensured it's unlikely to be more than a $1,000 Robosapien.
This is an interesting and well meaning effort but I'm so disappointed at it missing what it could have been :(
Bipeds might be useful for some things eventually but its a complexity and limitation that needs to be left out of low cost platforms where efficiency matters.
If you need it to stand and interact with people why not compromise with a platform something like Sterraclimb uses? It's more efficient and still climbs stairs.
Legs on robots is just bad engineering that's been given a free pass in science fiction in part because they are people in costumes rather than actual robots.
This isn't my field but I do think I could create a formidable competing robotics platform. The base would be swappable with either a cheap 4 wheeled platform or a 6 wheeled stair climbing platform like Sterraclimb. The upper part of the platform would be loosely based on a smaller 4 post telecommunications rack. All of the pieces would be modular and rack mountable. The heavy battery would be at the bottom, the computer would go above it. Arms could be attached to the side, a display could be mounted up top and sensors could be attached anywhere. I would publish the rack specs.
It would be completely modular and could be made functional. You could rack modules for PC/arduino whatever you want. It would look more "industrial" than this but panels could be added to the sides easily and by putting function before form it could be made useful instead of just pretty.
I think that is both cool and nerdy. If one wanted to, one could possibly put 'skates' on the robot; provide wheels that could be powered? it would be neat to see what some have come up with when this is costomized.