I’m still dreaming to have my sweet own personal robot able to serve my breakfast and the coffee just as much as a professional butler. Once my vision is fulfilled in a faraway land, I have to search over the best platforms able to transform a humanoid robot in the best personal robot. In a generation of open-source projects that begins to take shape, Intel throws into robotics a platform that fits the formal definition of DIY culture.
Engineered to show off a number of tricks, the Jimmy is a human-like robotic kit with a fully customizable body, easy to build, and designed with attention and focus on open-source hardware and software.
Using a 3D printer, a list of software, the manual, a collection of CAD files, and several other components, you can build at home a robot able to walk, dance, talk, move his arms, and even tweeting.
The kit without the 3D printed body, software and several other components is planned to reach the market at a price of $1,600 for the hobbyist’s version, while an improved research version could reach the market at a price of $16,000. The kit includes all the components that cannot be printed or downloaded from the Internet.
The consumer version has integrated an Intel Edison low-cost computer, while the research model runs an Intel Core i5 processor. The price difference is huge between these two versions, a difference that cannot be found in its body. Only an advanced processor is far away to cover the gap between these two models. But, there is an engineer trick since the Intel plans is to put in the hands of consumers a platform with a cut-in price over the years once with the introduction of 3D printing on a large-scale.
Jimmy is not an exotic project, and even more, anyone with access to a 3D printer and build plans can assemble the robot at home. If the body can be built by downloading all the 3D digital models, all the motors, batteries, processor and wiring can be bought from Intel.
The Intel solution for a cheap robot is to integrate the Edison low-cost computer in a small body and use a single chip able to host a low-power Atom processor, storage, RAM, and WiFi.
Because the Intel Jimmy is an open-source project made of plastic, any developer and tinkerer is able to design whatever functionality they want and build a custom size body.
To have in hands an accessible humanoid platform, the engineers open the high-level functions of the robot using a REST based API architectural style and develop the code to be more flexible when it comes to OS and CPU compatibility.
Capable of a variety of things, the Intel Jimmy robot can do things such as picking-up and handle objects, post tweets, speak through text-to-voice, and more.
With a big community behind the project, the plans are to provide an app marketplace where any developer can share with others new functionalities.
The Intel’s Future Projects
Jimmy is not the first and in any case the latest project in robotics for Intel. With a huge business potential for Intel, the robotics industry is a new field to get started.
The company has already invested in innovative products for the consumer and research, and the plans are to make the roads much safer with automated vehicles.
Inspired by Google Car, the Intel introduces a new solution platform able to inform, assist and assume control of a self-driving car.
Jimmy vs Other Open-source Projects
There is a typical interest enjoyed by the maker culture and able to encourage invention and prototyping. Rapiro is a small project, which host a Raspberry Pi computer and 12 servos. Like Jimmy, the Rapiro components are available online in digital form and can be printed with a simple 3D printer.
Another alternative to Jimmy is the DARwIn-OP humanoid robot designed for research and education. Compared with DARwIn-OP, the Jimmy is three times bigger, has three times more torque, is about twice as fast due to a powerful processor, and can run at least three times more than DARwIn-OP.
With all of these details, the Jimmy platform may establish the rules of the game where a big community, a flexible platform, and a very small price are the most important features.
- Height: 68.5 cm / 27 inches;
- Weight: 6 kg / 13.2 lbs;
- DOF: 20;
- Walking Speed: 30 cm/s;
- Runtime: 45 minutes;
- Actuators:12 x MX-106 / 6 x MX-64 / 2 x MX-28;
- SensorsGyro, Accelerometer, cameras , microphone;
- Processor: Intel NUC quad Core i5, 4gb RAM, 32 gig SSD;
- Sub Controller: CM730 (Arbotix-PRO coming soon);
- Wireless Control Options: Xbee, Wifi, Bluetooth;
- Battery: 4 cell 14.8V 4000 mAh LiPo;
- OS: Choice of Ubuntu 14.04 or Yocto OpenEmbedded Linux;
- Code: Open Source C++ framework based on the DARwin-OP software with integrated REST based API;
- Frame: 5052 Aluminum Metal Brackets;
- Body: Panels3D printed Nylon;
With a hardware design available online, a custom body and an open software with a lot of opportunities to build apps for developers, the open-source Jimmy platform moves the attention and focus on price and opportunities.
It’s pretty soon and perhaps crazy to think that very soon will be available on the market a personalized robot for just $100. But with such projects ongoing, hopefully in the near future the barrier of entry to robotics will be lower and lower than before.