A while back we wrote about practical 3D printing technology reaching the level where it's starting to be adopted by some of the top level Japanese humanoid robot creators. Several leading builders here have been evaluating the technology, providing their feedback and experience, and it won't be long before their robot champions put it to the test under severe battle conditions in the ROBO-ONE ring.
The 3D printing company leading the charge, i.materialise, isn't just any hardware company, they see robotics as a significant potential market, one that is a key part of their strategic plan going forward. According to Joris on the i.materialise blog:
"...an area that is very important to us here at i.materialise: using 3D printing to customize robots. We think that in the coming years two technologies that are ripe for democratization are robots and 3D printing. To combine both of them into one service is irresistible to us."
At the same time, there have to be robot builders elsewhere in the world that could benefit from the same technology. And, we're sure that the robot folks in Europe, the US, and other tech centers around the world don't want to end up behind the curve.
So, they came up with a real sweet-heart deal. Get this, again from Joris at i.materialise:
“So we are looking for you. Are you a robotics enthusiast with good 3D modeling or CAD skills? Do you own or are you building a consumer friendly robot such as the Roomba, WowWee Robotics, a hexapod, Kondo, etc.? Would you like to customize the look and feel of your robot or add functionality to it using 3D printing? Please email joris (at) i.materialise.com and if you’re one of the suitable candidates we will help you, including giving you the 3D prints for free.”
What are you waiting for? How often do you think a great offer, including free 3D printed parts, like this comes along? Just go for it!
“These are the droids you're looking for!”
A major semiconductor company, whose name begins with a capital “I”, is fond of saying that their products are "Inside ". From what we've seen today here in Tokyo, Google, and the Google developer community, is set to totally blow that away, and create a brave new environment with “Android Everywhere”, not just cell phones, PDAs, and tablet computers but, get this -- actual, life-size, walking humanoid robots. If, Obi-Wan Kenobi were here today, he would have to admit, “These are the droids you're looking for!”
Two leading edge Japanese companies, RT Corporation and Brilliant Service, teamed up to create what we believe to be the world's first life-size humanoid robot operating completely with the Android operating system. The robot, named "RIC Android", was unveiled today, September 28. at the Google Developer Day 2010 in Tokyo.
Here's a quick overview video showing some of the intelligent robotics work being done at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Lab organization:
Robert Oshler, the founding father of RobotsRule.com, just sent us a heads-up on the newest WowWee robot, the RoboScooper.
IEEE Spectrum has a free robotics webinar coming up entitled "The Future of Robotics."
Assuming that everything goes according to plan, Speecys Corporation will be unveiling an impressive new human/robot communication project at TieCon2009 in Santa Clara, California later today. We had the opportunity to discuss the project with Tomoaki Kasuga at the Speecys headquarters here last week, and to discuss his exciting vision for the future.