What’s better than a robot that does everything at your beck and call, serving you hand and foot? One that can be personalised to do exactly what you want it to, of course.
The PLEN2 humanoid robot is exactly that – allowing you to modify its makeup so it’s fit for whatever you need or want it to do.
The idea was innovated by Japanese company Plen and was launched last year on Kickstarter. Now it’s a reality and people are starting to create their own 3D printed robots.
PLEN2 measures 20cm tall and features 18 movable joints, meaning he can be used to do a whole range of things, including carry items for you, dance, or help you learn yoga. He can be controlled using a range of inputs, including by reading your facial expressions or hand gestures, making PLEN2 your very personal robot.
For $549, you’ll get the control boards, servomotors, accessories and 3D parts data to create your own humanoid. Upgrade and pay $899 to get the robot to make at home with the 3D printed parts or pay another $100 to have a fully-assembled robot arrive at your door.
All three of these versions are compatible with Arduino, meaning you can programme your own PLEN2 to work as you wish. However, there’s also a developer edition that’s available for preorder, which supports ROS too, for more flexibility.
Plen is right behind everything open source, meaning anything you develop or anyone else develops for it is shared with the community. It also means you won’t have to pay for software, which means your PLEN2 will keep evolving as the community adds more functionality.
“Our aim is to open up the relationship between humans and technology through a printable and open-source robot kit,” Plen explained. “We do not believe that robots should replace people, but that they should complement our abilities. We strongly believe that scientific technology can enrich everyone in society, if we embrace it in a positive manner.”