A new species built from metal, plastic and silicon that uses the best material of 21th century for control – the bits – is prepared to populate our world. This new species are intelligent machineries with or without an anthropomorphic design with abilities to repeat almost any task that a human can do.
Poppy, the subject of this article, is a human-like robot engineered with an open body, open software, and has a good proportion of human being. The open-source platform is a good option for researchers, students or hobbyists to start their own project on a biologically inspired kit.
The project starts as a challenge and finished as a more accessible and easy-to-use prototyping platform. The project is not 100% finished, since the researchers together with a community of fans works to bring new functionalities and a lower price for a wide audience.
The Poppy was born in the Inria Flowers Lab (Bordeaux-France), and the idea is to provide a hackable and the low priced humanoid platform for a wide range of fields including here scientist, students, artists, hackers, or hobbyists. A modular system, 3D printed components, and off-the-shelf components are a good start to build a humanoid robot for large audiences.
The Puppy is opened for both hardware and software sides, and to cut the price of the final robot several parts are printed using a simple 3D printer. An anthropomorphic body has to be flexible and reproduce a human body. Poppy can reach this design with bent legs and multi-articulated trunk, plus a soft body with good proportion of human being, robustness, agility and stability during the walking.
An accident may break a part of the robot, and with a standard body a random incident may raise the final price of your project. Using off-the-shelf components such as electronics and motors together with a 3D printed body is the best solution to cut the cost and replace the components with problems or add other custom parts. Continue Reading →