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Intel Offering 3-D Printed Robot Kits

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the I-don't-think-he-knows-I've-got-a-right-to-exist dept.

Intel 26

jfruh writes Intel is developing a series of robot kits for hobbyists, ranging from "Jimmy", a $1,500 "social robot," to a more robust $16,000 model. The robots are powered by Intel x86 chips, are programmable, and can have exoskeletons parts produced at home by 3-D printers. From the article: "The two-legged Jimmy will be one in a line of robots that Intel hopes do-it-yourself enthusiasts will embrace, developing more functionality for the robots, which will be able to handle tasks such as turning on lights, picking up newspapers and even having conversations, researchers said at the Intel Future Showcase 2014 in New York City Tuesday. Intel and its robotics partners will sell kits with servo motors, batteries, boards, a frame and other internal parts. Using 3D printers, users can create robot designs and place them on the exoskeleton."

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Software not hardware (1)

pradeepsekar (793666) | about 7 months ago | (#47322361)

Robots are more about software than hardware. Though having smart hardware looks and feels good. Intel's success would be dependent on doing a good job on the software and making is user friendly.

Re:Software not hardware (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#47322521)

well they leave it up to the user.

the article is pretty much 98% shit. no pictures either. thanks for nothing it world.

the 15k model has core i5 and the 1.5k model has edison chip(sd card sized soc board thingy). the 1.5k model has legs. everything else in the article is just gravy about how future will change bla bla bla.

AMAZINGLY bad management at Intel (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 7 months ago | (#47337531)

More specifically, Intel has a TERRIBLE reputation in 2 areas:
1) Announcing something when it is far from finished.
2) Producing "consumer" items no one wants.

2001: Intel closing consumer electronics unit [geek.com]
2011: Intel drops smart TV to focus on smartphones, tablets and thin laptops [venturebeat.com]

Some experiences:

In 2012, I was visiting an Intel web page. A pop-up asked me to take a survey. I said yes. I mentioned several management problems at Intel. I said that the problems at Intel started at the top. For example, the then CEO, Paul Otellini [wikipedia.org] had paid $6 billion for McAfee [wikipedia.org] . I said that, in my opinion, McAfee software was worse than useless, that McAfee had no connection with Intel's business, and that the $6 billion was entirely wasted. (Last week I mentioned McAfee anti-virus software to a programmer acquaintance who works for a bank. He said McAfee anti-malware software is worse than the malware it is supposed to protect against.)

I'm not saying I had any influence, but 3 months later it was announced that Otellini would no longer be CEO of Intel.

This is my understanding from talking with friends and acquaintances who work at Intel: The processor and chipset division is managed quite well. Apparently Intel top management doesn't mess with that, maybe because they don't understand anything about it.

Non-technical people can't manage technological companies! To manage Intel well, it is necessary to have technology in your heart and be fascinated with the details. And, at the same time, it is necessary to have the social ability to manage a large company.

Several years ago I called an Intel support person and showed him a huge mistake in the description of an Intel product. He said something like, "We are re-doing the web site. We will fix that soon." A year later, I talked to the same man. He didn't remember me, but I remembered him, and had written his name. I mentioned the same error. He gave the same excuse again.

Another experience: Several years ago I wanted to buy Intel motherboards. It took 2 hours to become a member of some online Intel group and find the exact model number.

Remember Intel Bunny People dolls [ebay.com] ? Apparently someone at Intel thought that processor and motherboard buyers would be motivated by a cute doll.

It is my understanding that Intel's incompetence continues. It surprises me, but my own personal opinion is that I would be a far better manager than what Intel has now. One of the biggest problems in the entire world is the rarity of good management.

Re:Software not hardware (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 7 months ago | (#47322685)

What they need to include is a "software skeleton", a framework with libraries for motor control, balancing, machine vision and sensor feedback. The basics of those already exist, and not having to code these or cobble them together from whatever FOSS libraries are floating around would save experimenters a vast amount of time spent on stuff that has been more or less solved.

Re:Software not hardware (3, Informative)

flux (5274) | about 7 months ago | (#47323499)

Are you familiar with ROS, http://www.ros.org/ [ros.org] ? It's basically a set of libraries for various robotics tasks and sounds like what you're describing.

Re:Software not hardware (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 7 months ago | (#47324245)

Something like that, yes. Awesome project, thanks for that link.

I can see headlines from the future! (4, Funny)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 7 months ago | (#47322373)

September 17th, 2014: Paramedics free Florida man's penis from 3D printed robot.

Re:I can see headlines from the future! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322415)

Florida man has regained full use of penis after successful operation to reattach the severed member.

Re:I can see headlines from the future! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322437)

Tell Jimmy to get the fleshlight between his lags, because Papa's coming (home)!!!

Re:I can see headlines from the future! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#47322803)

Between his jet lags? They sell anything in those duty-free shops, don't they?

Re:I can see headlines from the future! (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 7 months ago | (#47323399)

Jimmy's gonna have a compound fracture.

Like the Nao robot (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 7 months ago | (#47322413)

These seem similar to the Nao [aldebaran.com] , which is a line of small humanoid robots from France. About the same price point.

What you can do with them depends strongly on the sensors. If the joints are position-controlled only, and you don't have force feedback, locomotion and manipulation will be clunky. There are some simple robot components, such as 6 degree of freedom force sensors for wrists and ankles, which are insanely expensive today, because they're made by hand for research and industrial purposes.

If you have all that sensing, plus three axes of accelerometer and three axes of rate gyro, you should be able to get Boston Dynamics type agility out of the thing. If the DARPA Humanoid Challenge produces some usable open-source software, it should be possible to move that down to toy-sized robots.

So where can i download the STL files? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322477)

If they don't make the files available I can categorize this with the growing number of companies who believe that I should pay for the files needed to print the same shit they design once and resell multiple times, something in my opinion that is unethical.

Re:So where can i download the STL files? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#47322929)

I should pay for [...] the same shit they design once and resell multiple times

You mean like pretty much every company that makes anything in the entire world?

Re:So where can i download the STL files? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#47323859)

Come on. That's not true.

Why every computer company on earth only sells one unit of their latest designs and then gives away the rest for free.

Remember George Jetson's maid ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322577)

Elroy looked more like her than Jane.

Re:Remember George Jetson's maid ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322615)

Judy took it up the ass from Astro.

"The robots are powered by Intel x86 chips" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47322723)

How disgusting. I already dropped all hope as soon as I got to that sentence.

At those prices? (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 7 months ago | (#47323375)

How exactly is 1500-15000 worth of equipment 'hobbyists'? And that's on top of the money you've already spent on getting a 3d printer.

Then again, if you've got the disposable income to buy a 3d printer, just for fun, then I suppose these kits are equally cheap.

What would be nice would be if they could come up with *cheap* robots of this calibre. Like, a robotic version of the raspberry pi. That way those of us who arn't rich can still enjoy them and learn about more advanced robotics than a 3 wheeled soup can that follows lines.

Re:At those prices? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 7 months ago | (#47323555)

How exactly is 1500-15000 worth of equipment 'hobbyists'? /blockquote

I can think of several hobbies that can rack up those kinds of costs. Flying model airplanes leaps to mind.

Re:At those prices? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | about 7 months ago | (#47324819)

Have you looked at how much robotics parts cost? A cheap servo is $12, an acceptable servo costs $45, and good servos you might use with surgical precision start at $95. High torque high precision motors a human sized model start in the $450 range and go up from there.
Six range of motion arms (let alone three digits per finger) means 12 servos for just the arms. It's no wonder people are looking at pneumatics, hydraulics etc for high torque high precision "digitla muscles". Robotics is expensive. And when you wire a servo wrong at 4 in the morning because you've been working too long you end up replacing these things at a fast rate (Ask me how I know). Just getting in to a 5 degree of motion laser cut wood arm, starting the hobby from scratch, cost me about $600. And that's with the $12-20 level servos.

Re:At those prices? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#47324909)

How exactly is 1500-15000 worth of equipment 'hobbyists'? And that's on top of the money you've already spent on getting a 3d printer.

Lots of hobbies can demand that much. Some hobbies have a wide range of spending (e.g., golf, electronics, computers) from practically free to many thousands, others demand huge upfront costs (e.g., flying, boating, etc).

Just because it's a hobby doesn't mean people can't spend outrageous amounts of money on it. I mean, people can spend $13K on an oscilloscope for their hobby too. Or several K in guns. Or stamps. Or comic books. Or plenty of other stuff. Or pinball machines, the popular ones easily costing $25K+ for home (and many people can't stop at one - three to a whole arcade in their basement...).

And there are plenty where people spend over $100K (over several years) on one project. (E.g., kit-plane building, model aircraft, etc).

It does require some amount of fiscal responsibility and the ability to save and delay gratification, but it's certainly possible.

Heck, back in the day, people would also spend many thousands of dollars in a computer just to play videogames on them and drag them across town to play with others.

They'd sell a lot more robots, if.... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 7 months ago | (#47323661)

They'd sell a lot more robots, if they looked like beautiful girls. Where is chobits technology already?

The headline and the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47323851)

contradict each other, but hey, more 3D printing hype!

Robots! (breath! breath! pant! pant!) Cars! We'll 3D print organs and cars and houses and colonize Jupiter!

Summary: You're buying a completely mass-manufactured robot and you can 3D print the equivalent of baby shoes hanging from the rear-view mirror.

But hey, 3D printed robot.

link with a video demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47324747)


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