Mar.26, 2014

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. MARC will interact with visitors to the Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing event in Sheffield, UK on Tuesday, 8th April.

If you are in the area, this is certainly a good chance to see the fundamental roles design, engineering and manufacturing which have been used in different innovations.

Dr Murray will also be demonstrating 3D printed quadrocopters - the latest sensation in aerial remote control aircraft. Visitors can watch the on-board footage as they record the event and learn how to build and fly these machines.

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."

The free event runs from 10am to 5.30pm at The Blue Shed in Brightside Lane, Sheffield, UK.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Anja wrote at 3/26/2014 4:03:44 PM:

Thanks Jose and antonkk.

antonkk wrote at 3/26/2014 3:51:09 PM:

The authir needs to edit this article and mention the original designer of the robot. This is InMoov, designed by Gael Langevin. I've documented over a hundred different DIY-ers print parts of this robot from the blueprints Gael distributed for free. Some people went as far as print and assemble the entire thing. I've seen these people use their InMoov robot to do basic useful tasks such as use a vacuum cleaner and pour a glass of water! I don't see any reason why by the end of this decade we'll have thousands of improved InMoovs prove themselves highly valuable and useful to the society.

Jose Luis del Olmo wrote at 3/26/2014 2:16:15 PM:

This robot is the InMoov project and is created open source by Gael Langevin

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