3D printed ‘Roboy Junior’ advances humanoid robotics
Roboy Junior was built using 3D printed components to limit the assembly process and help with fast, iterative hardware development.
The first prototype, dubbed Roboy Junior, has muscles and tendons rather than motors in its joints. The bot was designed using additively manufacturing components. The complete skeletal body structure of Roboy, which encases his bones and muscles, has been built with EOS systems for Plastic Additive Manufacturing.
“In software development, rapid development cycles allow software improvement by testing it ‘in the wild’,” says Rafael Hostettler, Roboy project leader. “Additive Manufacturing allows us to apply this approach to robotics, enabling a rapid development to find optimal functional parts in a fraction of the time. EOS’ AM technology is a key component for doing this as it enables the iterative hardware development that is crucial for our project.”
The team behind the robot believes that using industrial 3D printing offers many advantages including the ability to building complex functional geometries as well as sustaining a fast and iterative hardware development. For example, the Roboy team was able to manufacture the robot’s hands and forearms in one piece, which include several joints and individual phalanxes for each finger, limiting necessary assembly steps.
“While a larger number of companies focusses on AI development, only a very small number of projects worldwide develop humanoid robotics,” explains Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at EOS. “Therefore, we are all the more proud to support the renowned Roboy project and see its meaning. As the strengths of Additive Manufacturing lie in those areas where conventional manufacturing reaches its limitations, EOS’ technology is the ideal solution for a research project as ambitious as Roboy. We are happy that the Roboy team is trusting in EOS to realize their vision.”
The vision of the project is to iteratively improve Roboy models until the performance is comparable to humans in dexterity, robustness and flexibility.