May 22, 2015 | By Alec

While we come across a lot of cool 3D printable robots that we just love to share with our readers, most are unfortunately not easy to reproduce. After all, even if you know your way around a 3D printer most projects demand a fairly detailed understanding of engineering, programming and electronics basics. While most of that can obviously be learned over time, those of us who’ve just bought a 3D printer because we enjoy making little plastic objects are easily scared off.

That’s exactly why we are very interested in the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for the Roby educational robot kit, that has been specifically designed to help people of all ages to get to grips with programming, 3D design and the world of robotics. While it might sound a bit childish to learn something through building a toy, it is after all one of the best ways to easily embrace new information.

The Roby Genius, the complete educational package.

What’s more, Roby looks fun! Developed by Seattle-based Socially Shaped, it’s a four wheel robotic machine that can even balance itself and drive on two wheels. If it falls, it can even pick itself up again. As developers John Villwock, Mikhail Stolpner  and Aubra Taylor, explain it grew out of an enthusiasm about all the open source robots appearing in the maker community. ‘Thus, we designed Roby, our first robotic kit based upon the open source designs, and we are giving back to the open source community by making our designs available to anyone for free. Roby is not just an entertaining robot, it’s a robotic learning platform,’ they say, for which they have prepared a wide series of tutorials on their website.

All the parts for the full Roby, complete with 3D printed components.

As part of that learning process, the Roby will introduce you to the basics of programming (in any language), Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, Linux, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based communication and everything you need to know to use sensors, stepper motors and other common electronics. In short, just about everything you need for the typical 3D printed robot projects we so often see. ‘You can program Roby’s personality to your liking and learn programming. You can add computer vision, sensors, and learn basic electronics principles. You can teach Roby to understand your voice commands and tell you what time it is,’ they say. Sounds pretty good, right?

The Roby Junior.

And what’s more, there are also three different kits designed for people with different levels of experience: the Roby Junior, the Roby Standard, and the Roby Genius. As you might expect, the first is for children and people with absolutely no knowledge of robotics. ‘All you need is to put it together using our step-by-step guide and a set of batteries. We will make upgrade kits available for your Roby Junior to move it to Roby Standard or even graduate to Roby Genius later on,’ they say. The subsequent two kits are obviously for more complicated builds – the Standard will for instance feature the ability to walk on two wheels through a gyroscope, while the Genius will respond to voice commands.

The Roby Standard.

As you might expect, this educational kit will also do wonders for your knowledge of 3D printing mechanics. ‘Instead of aluminum alloy we built Roby with cutting edge 3-D printing technology and environmentally friendly biodegradable plastic. We designed Roby’s body to be simple on purpose, so you too can add your artistic imagination. You can quickly change Roby's looks with your own custom 3-D printed parts and even share your designs on,’ they explain. However for those of you without a 3D printer, the basic kits contain all the 3D printed components you need.

Interested? Then support the Kickstarter campaign for Roby. ‘We have put in place a 3D printing infrastructure. Now we just need your backing to help us get Roby to the world,’ they say, and that really seems all there is to it. By supporting their campaign to get $50,000 in pledges by 19 June, you can get your hands on a complete and fun Roby kit as soon as August. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive