It's the age of customization, so why shouldn't you be able to design your own robot and then print it out on a 3-D printer?
Intel is coming out with a new "open source, 3-D printable robot" based on its Edison chip this fall for $1,600. The company will provide a kit with motors, batteries, a set of design files and a series of customizable apps that will enable users to decide how they want the robot to look, and what they want it to do.
Intel futurist Brian David Johnson says users will have the ability to customize their robot to their own specifications. Johnson said you could make the robot into a dog, who could dance the tango, and then add an alarm clock app, and then the robotic dog would dance the tango when it's time to wake up. It could also, for example, be used to remind a grandparent when to take their medicine.
It's part of Intel's "21st Century Robot Project," and Johnson said the company wants to provide tools so that robotic innovation can be put in the hands of consumers of all ages.
"We don't really know all the things the robot can do. What we say is: It's up to you. It's up to the different developers and different people to figure out what they want their robot to do," Johnson said.
The robotic prototype that Johnson demonstrated in San Francisco recently is called Jimmy. Actually there were two Jimmys: a consumer version for $1,600, and a bigger, more sophisticated model for $16,000, designed for advanced university experiments and for businesses to come up with new industrial applications.