Robotics were once only found in factories on expensive semi-automated assembly lines. Now, they’re still there, but they can also be found as toys and on Thingiverse. Access to personal fabrication and computational power is becoming increasingly more commonplace, and with that too come the means to create useable robotics. And as means allow, people will build. One of those people is Gael Langevin, who is a pioneer in the still-niche field of 3D printed, open-source, humanoid robotics.
Gael is a French sculptor and he’s been hard at work on his InMoov project for a year now, making steady progress. His robot is little more than a torso and head now, but based on how quickly it got to that point I’d say the thing will be walking around in a few short months. What’s so great about this robot is that it’s open source; the software, MyRobotLab, is freely available on the project’s blog and operates on the ubiquitous Arduino controllers, the servos can be acquired at RC hobby stores, and the various printable parts are intended to come out of personal FDM printers, not commercial SLS printers. Truly the everyman’s robot.
While people have been in awe over Honda’s Asimo robot for years, we still don’t have Asimo assistants. The InMoov project has only a year under its belt and already several people have bits of robot in their living rooms. I think the motion is fairly smooth for using hobby-grade servos, and the voice response is pretty quick too. You watch, within a year these robots will be taking “Clean my room” kind of commands.