JOIN THE ROBOT UPRISING SPECIAL Humanoid HOW I PRINTED A
— for half that
The DARwIn-OP (Dynamic
Anthropomorphic Robot with
Intelligence — Open Platform)
is a state-of-the-art research
and development humanoid
robot created by Virginia Tech’s
Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), led by Dr.
Dennis Hong, in collaboration
with the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, and
the South Korean company
Robotis, with support from the
National Science Foundation.
Weighing in at just 2.9kg
and standing 45.5cm tall, the
DARwIn-OP has won the gold
medal in the autonomous
RoboCup Soccer Humanoid
League, Kid Size class, in both
2011 and 2012.
In recent years I’ve experimented with 3D-printing the structural brackets for my humanoid robot Boomer. Boomer and
I compete at RoboGames and show off at Maker
Faires, and people always ask me: Why 3D printing? Why not just make the brackets out of metal
like everyone else?
I started to do it just because I could. The advent of
cheap DIY 3D printers has
given makers a new way to
manufacture and customize
objects, and I was simply exploring this new process. As
I printed more parts for my
robot, I realized that it could
be done — and done cheaply.
Then I saw the DARwIn-OP at the 2010 International
Conference on Humanoid
Robots. After seeing how
capable and groundbreak-ing it was, I wanted one. But
how could I afford it? A new
DARwIn-OP from Robotis