In Our Own Image

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3992 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3992 Articles

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This is my caption.

And Elvex said, “I was the man.” — Isaac Asimov, Robot Dreams

It’s the perennial debate: R2-D2 versus C-3PO, Astromech versus Protocol Droid, utility versus usability, function versus form. When the maker movement took off 10 years ago, a bottom-up, keep-it-super-simple approach to amateur robotics made more sense, especially from a cost perspective. But now, thanks to cheaper, smaller control systems and access to sophisticated technologies like 3D printing and networkable servos, more makers are starting to tackle much more complex, fussier, high-end robotics projects like androids, gynoids, and anthropomorphic arms. Here are just a handful of the most exciting developments in the world of anthrobotics — whether military, commercial, or maker-made.

This article first appeared in MAKE Volume 39, on pages 34–37.