InMoov: 3D printed robot
Scientists at the University of Lincoln are testing a humanoid robot which has been created using 3D printing technology, hoping the project leads to a new generation of androids that humans feel more comfortable interacting with. The original designer of the robot is Gael Langevin, who created InMoov, the first open source 3D printed life-size robot.
Created by Dr John Murray from the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK, MARC (Multi-Actuated Robotic Companion) is one of two robots being used to help scientists understand how more realistic long-term relationships might be developed between humans and androids.
Traditionally, the research platforms used in this field is very expensive; due to their complexity, cost of materials etc. However, with the emergent technology of 3D printing, researchers are able to create complex robotic platforms with much lower cost.
Based on human interactions and relationships, the research team will introduce ‘characteristics’ and ‘personalities’ to the robot. “If the robot can be programmed to understand how human-to-human long-term relationships begin and develop, then it would be easier to plan the human-robot relationship.” says the team.
The researchers are also developing a control which allows a user to control the robot via serial communication between the arduino board and a PC. The controller is written in C# and uses panels for control clusters; a user picks the part of the body to move on the diagram, which enables the controls for that part of the robot.
The project team believe such robots could act as companions, working with the elderly, or with children with conditions such as autism, Asperger syndrome or attachment disorder. Existing robots lack identifiable human characteristics that prevent humans developing a bond with them.
This 3D-printed robot will be one of the star attractions at an annual event aimed at inspiring the next generation of manufacturers and engineers.
Dr Murray said: “This is a great opportunity for the University to showcase its research. I’m extremely keen to help young people see that subjects such as Computer Science and Engineering are not as daunting as they might think. Once they have been able to interact with MARC and fly the quadrocopters they will see that these topics are actually quite fun.”
- Weight: 4280 grams
- Actuators / output devices: 12 servos MG995, 12 Hitec 805BB
- Control method: Motion pattern, keyboard, Joystick
- CPU: Arduino
- Operating system: Windows, Macintosh OSX, Linux
- Power source: 6V 44A
- Programming language: Serialterm, MyRobotLab, Arduino sketch
With the help of Myrobotlab and GroG, the robot can see and grab objects after a voice command. Watch the video below a test using capture gestures + voice commands in Myrobotlab.