In Our Own Image

Robotics
In Our Own Image
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.

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn

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