July 3, 2015 | By Simon

Although the rise of 3D printed content sharing sites have led to a seemingly endless supply of robot projects, it’s safe to say that not all robot projects are created equal.  Combined with the fact that Hollywood is pumping out one robot-themed blockbuster after another, it becomes clear why 3D printed robot projects might be so popular right now.  

Yet for all of the Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects out there, some users may be wanting something a little closer to what they might be seeing in these movies - such as a customizable 3D printed humanoid robot.  Among other 3D printable humanoid robots that we’ve seen in recent memory include the PLEN2, which raised more than $66,000 on Kickstarter last year.  

Designed as an update to the original PLEN that launched in 2007 as “the high performance advanced programmable humanoid robot—for the man who has everything!”, the PLEN2 model is both physically smaller and costs less than half the price of the original PLEN.  

Among other features of the PLEN2, it is capable of walking forwards and backwards, picking up small objects, roller skating, dancing, kicking, driving in a ‘car’ as well as having the ability to mimic human actions.  The fully-constructed robot is approximately 7.87 inches tall, weighs 21.16 oz, and includes 18 joints for a high degree of maneuverability.

Yesterday, the PLEN company announced that for the first time since their Kickstarter campaign came to a close last year, users who might not have been able to purchase a PLEN2 during the campaign can now pre-order a robot directly from the PLEN online store.  

Additionally, the company is launching the “PLEN Playground” as a community hub for PLEN owners.  The Playground includes software such as “Motion Editor” and “Scenography” for PLEN series robots, open source data, and a community forum.  More features are expected to be added over time.  

As for PLEN2 itself, users can purchase one of three options based on their level of skill.  For users who want to 3D print all of their own components and just utilize the PLEN2 ‘guts’, the company is offering their Developer kit that features all of the necessary parts minus the 3D printed components for $550.22.  The kit comes equipped with an Intel Edison (ROS supported), a 6-Axis Motion Sensor, 18 servo motors and an RS485 communication port in the head board.

For users who are comfortable assembling their own products but don’t want to spend the time 3D printing all of the individual components, the company is selling an assembly kit that features all of the components needed to assemble your own PLEN2 for $900.36.  

Finally, for users who want to enjoy the experience of owning a humanoid robot but don’t have any interest in either printing out their own pieces nor assembling the components, the company is also offering a fully-built PLEN2 model for just $100 more than the assembly kit at $1000.40.   

While the Developer kits are expected to start shipping in early September of 2015, the Assembly Kit and Assembly Model are expected to ship out in early December … just in time for Christmas.  


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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