Poppy, the 3D printable humanoid robot


There are several printable robot projects and they’re all pretty cool. The Poppy Project has something on them: completeness. That’s not to say Poppy is finished, but it does have two arms, two legs, and enough AI to interact. And it’s completely open source to keep development current and maximize accessibility. The body is designed to be as light as possible so that smaller, lighter motors can be used; reducing mass increases dexterity and makes Poppy more resilient to falls.

Poppy will be falling a lot as it’s intended for research. It was designed by Flowers Lab at Inria Bordeaux and Ensta ParisTech (France) and originally made for a research project on biped locomotion, and full-body physical and social interaction in robots and humans. “Its development aims at providing an affordable and hackable humanoid robot for science, education, art and geeks.” Poppy has 25 degrees of freedom and weighs only 3.5kg with human proportions at 84cm tall. Built entirely of 3D printed parts and off the shelf electronics and motors, universities and robotics enthusiasts can reproduce and modify the robot freely. The total cost is around $12,000 and it takes two days to assemble. That’s extremely accessible for such a capable robot.

The consensus has been inconsistent on when, if ever, we’ll have personal robots in our homes helping with laundry and cleaning. The AI certainly needs more time, but thanks to 3D printing production cost isn’t far off from where it needs to be for homeowners to be able to afford robobutlers. Anyone that’s folded clothes for more than ten years will gladly pay $5,000 to have a robot do it.