Adorable 3D Printed Humanoid Robot

Cheap, open-source 3D printed robot.

robot, bipedalism, open-source, affordable, france, 3d printing Researchers studying bipedalism and human-robot interaction at France’s INRIA have created an affordable 3D printed humanoid robot.

Called Poppy, the 33 inch tall robot was designed, printed, and built for about US$11,000. This is around one third of the cost of comparable robots.

Most of the budget is spent on complex servo motors. This includes 21 Robotis Dynamixel MX-28s, at $219 each. Additionally, Poppy is powered by a Raspberry Pi, sees with two HD cameras, and balances using an inertial measurement unit.

To bring this assortment of components together, the INRIA team designed and printed a lightweight humanoid skeleton  featuring a number of advances.  Chief among them is Poppy’s upper leg geometry featuring unique curves inward from the hip to its knee. This structure provides better balance. Add to is configuration two sets of flexible toes and you have a robot capable of walking with a natural heel to toe gait.

Although Poppy is in its infancy, researchers believe in the coming year the robot will walk independently. To help that effort, INRIA will open its design for external development and experimentation.

Given that the robot’s components can be 3D printed or found online, it’s likely this cute little guy will become popular with both researchers and hobbyists alike.

Image Courtesy of Poppy Project