Greetings once again Kickstarter, my name is Tim Payne, I am the designer of MAKI and co-founder of Hello Robo. Together with my team, we are relaunching MAKI, now with more options for those with smaller 3D printers and even those without.
Previously, printing MAKI required a 3D printer with a build envelope of at least 150mm x 150mm x 175mm. Now the minimum build size has been reduced to 150mm x 150mm x 140mm. This allows those with smaller desktop 3D printers to print their very own MAKI.
We are also now offering a limited number of printed parts (from Shapeways), both full and partial kits, as well as fully assembled/tested robots. More information below.
This time around we have set a smaller funding goal so that we can get MAKI into the hands of those who supported our project during our initial launch. If our project is successful, we will immediately begin prepping files and producing instructional material. There are also stretch goal which would allow us to further develop MAKI's functionality as well as develop other platforms. More information below.
MAKI is an emotive robot capable of interacting with humans. Typically, robots capable of advance HRI are quite expensive. MAKI is low-cost, and can be replicated using a desktop 3D printer. Additional hardware, electronics and software are required to complete MAKI, all of which are available through this Kickstarter and popular online retailers.
Our goal with MAKI is to give hobbyist, researchers and students a platform to develop and share useful applications on. Like many of the robots which we have developed in the past, MAKI is intended to be open source. Backers are participating in the beta launch of MAKI. As we improve the design and functionality of MAKI, we will release updated files via our website.
The above image shows MAKI at different stages of development. After design, parts were printed, primed and sanded. MAKI was then assembled, tested, disassembled and painted. Please note that depending on the resolution of your 3D printer, some light sanding may be required on moving parts. For best results, print the actual parts with ABS and the raft with PLA.
MAKI was design specifically with 3D printing in mind, because of this, we actually incorporated support into the design itself. This also influenced the shape and printing orientation of each part. There was a lot of trial and error in finding the best shapes which minimized warping in larger parts. MAKI was printed with 3mm ABS using a Rapman 3.2 3D printer which is sold as a kit.
MAKI can range in uses from a simple animatronic head to an advanced HRI research platform. MAKI has an embedded USB webcam and microphone. Using a PC, MAKI is capable of vision processing with the help of paid software such as RoboRealm and open source software such as OpenCV. See video below.
MAKI is compatible with popular software such as ROS, Pypose and RoboRealm. MAKI can also be used with Arduino IDE. More advanced users familiar with ROS can take advantage of libraries and tools such as the arbotix_python package to help give MAKI actual intelligence. We will create an ROS library including a complete robot model (URDF) if this project meets or exceeds our stretch goals.
MAKI is also modular in design, which means that parts on MAKI can be easily replaced or upgraded. We have future plans for a Raspberry Pi edition of MAKI as well as a design which incorporates an interchangeable smartphone cradle. More information below.
We are offering several options for our backers, including MAKI STL files, t-shirts and kits. If there is something else you would like to see offered, feel free to let us know.
Backers who pledge $30 will receive all STL files necessary to replicate MAKI on a desktop 3D printer (with a minimum print area of 150mm x 150mm x 140mm). Backers will also receive detailed assembly instructions in PDF format.
We are offering the AX-12 gripper STL files and assembly instructions to backers who pledge any amount.
Illustrated by the talented Mengie Di, we are especially pleased to offer the design featured above.
In a addition to receiving all STL files and assembly instructions related to MAKI, backers who pledge $60 have their choice of MAKI t-shirts.
Designs are printed on American Apparel 50/50 T-shirts. The "MAKI NY" t-shirt comes in your choice of white or grey and the "MAKI CIR" t-shirt comes in your choice of purple or grey.
The Hardware Kit is for backers who have a 3D printer which uses PLA, or perhaps another material other than 3mm ABS filament and only require the STL files, assembly instructions and hardware. Please note that the parts listed above are also available from online retailers.
For backers who own a 3D printer which uses 3mm ABS filament and has a build envelope of at least 150mm x 150mm x 140mm, we offer our Hardware Kit plus enough plastic filament to print MAKI.
For backers with a 3D printer which has a smaller print envelope than 150mm x 150mm x 140mm, we offer the largest six parts printed with strong nylon plastic from Shapeways. Please note that you can also order these parts directly from Shapeways with the provided STL files.
For backers interested in all of the plastic parts printed with strong nylon, we are offering the Full Nylon Kit.
We are also offering the Full MAKI Kit for backers interested in receiving all of the plastic parts and hardware necessary to build MAKI.
Finally, we are offer a very limited run of fully assembled and tested MAKI robots. These robots are comprised of strong nylon plastic parts from Shapeways. While the standard color scheme for a fully assemble MAKI is white/black, other color schemes are available upon request at an additional cost.
While we plan to release a dual arm version of MAKI in the future, we feel it is best to further develop the base model. This means incorporating a Raspberry Pi and smartphone dock. (see drawing below).
We are interested in adding functions such as speech to text and speech synthesis and are already exploring options to add these features. We are also interested in developing an app which utilizes the processing power, front camera and touchscreen interface of Android smartphones. These projects take considerable time and resources.
Below are additional videos. The first of which demonstrate the AX-12 gripper being used to pick up various of items. The second video demonstrates MAKI tracking an object using RoboRealm,
Thanks for checking out our project. If you have any questions or comments feel free to message us via Kickstarter or for a faster response, through the contact form on our website.
Risks and challenges
There are many risks and challenges that come with a project like this. We are working to further simplify our 3D printed design as well as provide adequate documentation. Assembly instructions will be provided in PDF format and we will also provide video instructions via our Youtube channel (for more difficult assemblies).
We are also working to properly catalog our STL file library. We understand that different 3D printers have different print processes. So we are giving backers a choice between printing parts with our "built-in" support or without it.
For backers who choose one of our kits or fully assembled robots, we will work hard to have your orders shipped by early June. It is important that Shapeways is given ample time to fabricate the plastic parts and ship them to Atlanta, GA, where they will be packaged and shipped to backers. They typically ship in 8 to 12 days depending on material and finish.
STL files, assembly instruction and t-shirts can be expected towards the end of May.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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