Robonaut is to have a
humanoid robot to
work alongside the
astronauts in space.
The form factor is such
that Robonaut can use
the same tools as the
Eventually, it will be
being used as an end-effector for the robotic
arm on the
My favorite robot
from last year — “Roy
the Robot” — was
present in all his
theatrical glory. He’s
available as a laser cut plywood kit —
at least his arm is currently. The big
picture is to create a human sized
animatronic character from only laser
cut mechanics and off-the-shelf hobby
servos (Figure 10).
“DFRobot” had a huge presence
at Maker Faire; they are actually a
Goldsmith sponsor. The Chinese
company makes and distributes a
broad assortment of robot
components and kits. What I really
liked about their booth was the array
of modules and bases — from simple
stuff for small tabletop robots to
popular boards like Arduino and
Raspberry Pi and ready-to-build kits.
They also had numerous bases:
tracks, wheels, walkers — large and
small. Ten years ago, you had to build
these bases from scratch. Yeah, that’s
fun, but it’s a huge barrier to entry.
Now, budding roboticists just need to
buy a base, choose a controller board,
add sensors, and create an
application. The business of mobile
robotics has arrived! All the parts are
Other cute robots included
Romibo and Mirabots (Figure 11).
Romibo is an engaging smart
character for autism therapy and
language learning from Origami
Robotics. Children with autism often
prefer to communicate with simplified
characters during times of high stress
and anxiety. Currently, teachers are
beta testing Romibo in five countries.
Their feedback is being used to guide
the product toward consumer
introduction in 2016.
“Mira” is a curious social robot
designed by Alonso Martinez. It
changes colors and recognizes faces.
They are “awww-some.”
Then, there’s Dan Albert (Team
Walk Like a Man) with WATSON
(Figure 12) — the full size humanoid.
Dan hung out at one of the pillars
and wasn’t getting much action until
he added a balloon head. It’s funny
what attracts people. Without the
“head,” WATSON might as well have
been just another 3D printer.
However, with the silly little red
balloon head, WATSON suddenly
became more human. Next time,
Dan’s bringing the mannequin head.
“Avast Ye Scurvy Swabs!” — The
very animated and piratey “Petey the
Parrot” (Figure 13) was created by
David Sidley. It was printed on an
Afinia H479 3D printer. (Yo-Ho-Ho!)
There are 31 parts in all which take
about 32 hours to print. Rocky the
SERVO 07.2015 61
Figure 11. Definitely among the cute robots
are Romibo and the Mirabots. Romibo (the
fury one) is a therapy robot and the Mirabots
are just for fun. They change colors and
recognize faces. Photo Credit: Jared Peters.
Figure 12. This is Dan Albert and
his full sized humanoid, WATSON.
It's funny no one paid WATSON
much attention until he added that
silly balloon ... just don't call him
Figure 13. "Pirate Dave" created
"Petey the Parrot" as a highly
articulated shoulder puppet that
can move even the toughest
of pirates to tears…
of laughter, of course!
Photo Credit: Robots-Dreams.com.