What is effortless for the flesh is Promethean for robotics. For decades scientists and engineers have sought to model the mechanics of the human hand. Grasping objects, picking them up, and manipulating them are so intuitive as to be thoughtless. The coordination required to play musical instruments is miraculous.
In theory, every anatomical movement ought to be analyzable and reproducible. Beyond that, however, hovers the reality of practice where controllers, motors, and linkages need to be organized in a way that looks a little more elegant than a steam shovel.
That’s where people like Gael Langevin enter the picture. At heart Gael is a sculptor and model maker. According to his Facebook profile he listens to Hu-Music and Pepper Island. In “real life” he is a designer for big corporate brands. Langevin’s new passion is for robotics, particularly humanoid innovations. Anatomical movement and flexibility has inspired his new quest: InMoov.
InMoov, Langevin’s personal project, began in January 2012 after buying a 3D printer. It’s the first open source, life-size 3D printed robot. It started with the design of a hand, that can be used as a prosthetic. Replicable on any home 3D printer, it is conceived as a development platform for universities, laboratories, hobbyists, but first of all for makers.
Join Gael, along with Greg Perry of My Robot Lab, and Chuck Fletcher, director of technology at the Wonderfactory, for another installment of Robot Hacks Wednesday, Nov. 13, 4pm PT as they talk about InMoov, from conception to reality.