Nov 8, 2015 | By Benedict
15-year-old Dmitris Hatzis, hailing from Kavala, Greece, has become the youngest person to build a 3D printed, life-size humanoid robot. His year-long build was part of “InMoov”, an open-source 3D printed life-size robot created by Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and modelmaker. InMoov encouraged makers to take a specified design and set of instructions, and to 3D print and assemble the humanoid robot themselves. Langevin’s design was offered as "being replicable on any home 3D printer with a 12x12x12cm area".
Although Langevin provided the design for the 3D printable robot, the project was by no means a simple one. Only six makers (including Langevin himself) were able to complete the challenge, with Hatzis the youngest. Two Russians, a German and an Italian completed the sextet. It took Hatzis one year of work to 3D print and assemble the 475 parts, which altogether required roughly a kilometre of ABS plastic. When the work was finally done, Hatzis named his creation “Troopy”.
The InMoov project had a strong sense of community. Rather than racing to finish the project first, the six builders each communicated with one another regularly in order to share building advice. Despite his junior status, the talented Hatzis was treated as a peer by the elder makers.
Hatzis’ 3D printed robot boasts a number of impressive attributes. The humanoid boasts independent eye and head movements, as well as five degrees of freedom (DOF) in each arm. The robot can mimic human movements and communicate in fluent English. In spite of these impressive features, Hatzis plans to continue working on “Troopy”. “Every new robot has an improved model of the previous one,” the young maker explained. “This is why the robot hasn’t yet morphed into its final form and maybe never will, constantly being improved and updated.”
Despite having a long-standing interest in robotics, Hatzis’ final motivation for building a 3D printed robot came from an unlikely source: Hugh Jackman, star of X-Men, The Prestige and Pan. In spite of the superiority of these films, it was Jackman’s 2011 flick Real Steel which had a profound effect upon the Greek teenager. The sci-fi drama, which comes across as a futuristic take on Rocky, tells the tale of Charlie Kenton (Jackman), a former boxer and robot builder who builds a boxing robot whilst trying to gain custody of his son Max. It is currently unclear whether or not Troopy’s five degrees of freedom enable him to throw punches in the ring.
Hatzis’ impressive building skills saw him receive the highest award at this year’s Industrial Informatics Festival i2fest, held in Kavala. Last year, the teen came in second place at the 5th Festival of Industrial Informatics, after building his own 3D printer from scratch. His latest achievement, building the 3D printed robot, was recognised by the U.S. Embassy in Athens, who congratulated the youngster on his achievement. ”Dimitris now belongs to a very small group of scientists around the world,” they noted.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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