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French Designer Uses 3D Printer to Create Humanoid Robot
2/8/2013

Through his InMoov project, French artist and designer Gael Langevin is working on a humanoid robot that can be printed with a 3D printer then assembled at home. So far he has completed the robot's head, arms, and hands, and is working on its torso.  (Source: Gael Langevin)
Through his InMoov project, French artist and designer Gael Langevin is working on a humanoid robot that can be printed with a 3D printer then assembled at home. So far he has completed the robot’s head, arms, and hands, and is working on its torso.
(Source: Gael Langevin)

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Elizabeth M
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Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
Elizabeth M   2/8/2013 6:23:12 AM
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I found this project fascinating, not just because it shows again the potential for 3D printing, but also because it shows the level of commitment that Langevin has to his robotics and design work. I can't imagine creating a project with this much detail and ambition during the free time outside what is probably a very demanding full-time job. Obviously, Langevin is really into this work and wants to share his innovation with the world, and his detailed blog will allow people to follow his commitment every step of the way. I admit I also found the idea that you could build such a lifelike robot at home using a 3D printer a tad bit creepy...but with the way robotics innovation is going, I should get more comfortable with the idea!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
Ann R. Thryft   2/8/2013 12:50:38 PM
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Thanks for covering this, Elizabeth. I love the convergence of 3D printing and robotics. In elegance, complexity, and functionality, this leaves the clunky robots I reported on using 3D printing in the dust:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=241989



Charles Murray
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
Charles Murray   2/8/2013 5:54:40 PM
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The beauty of 3D printing and of robotics is that both lend themselves to innovation from indepedent engineers, inventors and tinkerers. I think we'll be seeing a lot of ideas like this one for many years to come.

sensor pro
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
sensor pro   2/9/2013 11:14:13 PM
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The use of 3D is great, however the humanoid design was very nicely demonstrated in I-ROBOT movie. Looks almost the same.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
Elizabeth M   2/11/2013 10:16:14 AM
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Yes, Charles, it seems some very interesting work is coming from robot enthusiasts, perhaps even more interesting than some university, military or privae-company research. Hobbyists of course have more flexibility and sometimes look at things from a different perspective, which may explain why their work is so creative. Of course, 3D printing--as you point out--is making the work of hobbyists and enthusiasts much easier as well, giving them a very powerful tool at home.

mrdon
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
mrdon   2/12/2013 12:50:15 PM
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Elizabeth M, The applications of 3D printing are truly endless as by the InMoov Opensource Robotics project discussed in your article. It's amazing how tools that cost thousands of dollars are being democratized and founding homes within the hobbyists community. I'm very intrigued by the fact an artist/designer is capable of building a sophisticated machine with electronics and software with no formal training. I noticed the Arduino embedded within the robot's skelton which demonstrates Massimo Banzi's vision of a low cost microcontroller prototyping platform used in endless industrial and artistic applications. Great Article Elizabeth!

Elizabeth M
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
Elizabeth M   2/12/2013 1:54:57 PM
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Thanks for reading and the compliment, mrdon. It is pretty amazing what you can do with time, interest, intelligence and money to afford some of the latest and greatest in home technology. I am still pretty awed by this project myself.

mrdon
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Re: Taking hobbyist robotics to a new level
mrdon   2/12/2013 3:43:41 PM
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Elizabeth M, Your quite welcome.  Time and resources are key to creating personal technology on your own time. Thanks for presenting this article to the Design News community.

apresher
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Humanoid Robot
apresher   2/8/2013 2:19:12 PM
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It's interesting how the robotics market continues to generate a large number of really creative ideas that also harness technology solutions.

William K.
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DEsigner print6ed robot.
William K.   2/11/2013 9:21:45 PM
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Interesting, but it seems that in the video presentation there was deliberate effort to not show many details well enough to understand them. And possibly the robot was running at a safe speed, with the concept of moving much faster once the code was perfected. Also, all we saw was the head, shoulders and arms. Is that all that there is to this robot right now?

Elizabeth M
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Re: DEsigner print6ed robot.
Elizabeth M   2/12/2013 4:20:57 AM
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Hi, William, to answer your question, yes, he has only completed the head, arms and hands of the robot and is working on the rest. As for the video being vague--if you look on the blog there are other videos and very detailed descriptions of his work and progress, as well as how to put the robot together etc. It gets pretty specific at times. This is a work in progress for sure.

William K.
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3D printing: what can we make.
William K.   2/12/2013 8:41:08 PM
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This is indeed the starting of a new era in what can be made. The biggest limitations on what can be made have been reduced to limitations on material properties and limitations on what can be drawn in a 3D view. I am not aware of any printing system that works from the traditional three view drawings. The materials limitation is the same one that dogged DaVinci, in that the materials for his designs were simply not available yet. Likewise, the less expensive 3D printers are limited in material capabilities and material strength. Those systems delivering steel alloy parts are far above the hobby class, at least as far as prices go. Probably the best short term option would be for a way to purchase unused 3D printer time on machines able to use the desired materials. Sort of like "cloud" production facilities. Is anybody marketing that yet?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: 3D printing: what can we make.
Cabe Atwell   2/14/2013 11:46:48 PM
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There are plenty of 3D printing companies out there willing to print your work for fairly cheap. However, I think you mean every-single 3D printer being used at all times. I have a friend who’s day job has one. It’s hardly ever used. How to organize a way to have it print any project, then ship it to the end customer seem impossible. However, I might be thinking too myopically. C

William K.
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Re: 3D printing: what can we make.
William K.   2/15/2013 9:59:17 AM
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There certainly are a lot of 3D printers around, but a lot fewer of those able to print steel or other metals. That capability is a lot more expensive, both machine and supplies, and it seems that organizations that own such a machine that is not fully utilized could do printing for others to provide a better ROI, based on a greater sysem utilization. 

Ann R. Thryft
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It's so French
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2013 8:25:32 PM
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I keep looking at the photo of this robot--it's so French! By that I mean elegant, sophisticated and with lovely lines. And I'm saying that about a piece of plastic that barely looks like a person!

Elizabeth M
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Re: It's so French
Elizabeth M   2/21/2013 3:41:07 AM
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Ha, Ann, your comment made me laugh! But it's true...the French obviously have that "je ne sais quoi" even when it comes to robots. They're like Italians that way--always paying attention to style, even in the most unlikely places. I think as far as humanoid robots go, this one is one of the most attractive. (Yes, it feels strange to say that about a robot!)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: It's so French
Ann R. Thryft   2/21/2013 12:21:17 PM
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I spent several years learning the language, but I also spent some time there as a young adult, and I think it forever changed my sense of cuisine and fashion. There's an immediately recognizable visual elegance (that word keeps coming up) to French design that's different from the sense of style in Italian design. If this were a robot designed by an Italian artist/designer, it would be subtly different.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: It's so French
Cabe Atwell   5/20/2014 3:22:04 AM
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I thought that it had a distinct European design flavor as well. You can certainly notice the difference between Japanese and European robot designs.

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