Greetings Kickstarter, we are Hello
Robo and we build friendly robots. Our robots are designed to interact
with humans, so we design our robots to be aesthetically empathetic. It is our mission to design high quality robotic platforms which are also affordable, approachable and accessible.
In the past - individuals or groups interested in developing robotics software for applications such as HRI (human-robot interaction) have been required to design/build their own platform or pay thousands for platforms which operate on proprietary software. Taking advantage of readily available hardware, easy to print designs, and open source software, we offer affordable solutions for your next robotic platform.
It is our belief that for robots to effectively interact with and work beside humans, they should be friendly and empathetic even in design. Robots which fall into the "uncanny valley," often make people feel uncomfortable. Our robots are intended to operate in human environments; because of this, the overall aesthetics are considered heavily during the design process. It is important for our robots to feel friendly and approachable.
Finally, robotics is a perfect example of applied mathematics and science. It is our belief that every high school should have a robotics program to help educate and inspire young potential engineers. Now, with a desktop 3D printer, PC, internet connection and off-the-shelf hobby electronics, any school or anyone, can have access to advanced robotic platforms. Our goal is to not only make robotics more accessible to people in the US, but worldwide.
Why a 3D printable robot?
With the increasing popularity of
personal manufacturing, we see the opportunity to bring advanced robots to anyone with access to a desktop 3D printer. Taking
advantage of readily available electronics, easy to print designs,
and open source software, MAKI can be build for under $500.
it is easier than ever to piece together a robot platform, it is time
consuming and most often form is compromised for function. It is our intention to allow researchers to spend less time prototyping and more time developing useful applications. By making MAKI open source, we are encouraging others to share their work, and increase MAKI's capabilities.
Note: Currently you need a 3D printer with a build envelope of at least 150mm x 150mm x 175mm. We are currently working on reducing this size.
MAKI was design specifically with 3D printing in mind and because of this we actually incorporated the 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.
Before painting, MAKI was assembled and tested so that we could identify any problems. During this process we also made alterations to several parts to maximize range of movement in the eyes and eyelids.
Note: If you have a 3D printer which requires support material, even if you choose not to prime and paint your MAKI, some parts may require light sanding.
What can MAKI do?
MAKI is comprised of six AX-12 Dynamixel Actuators from Robotis, an Arbotix Robocontroller from Vanadium Labs, ZigBee Wireless and a USB Webcam from Microsoft. MAKI is compatible with popular software such as ROS, Pypose and RoboRealm. MAKI can also be used with Arduino IDE.
MAKI currently needs a PC for higher level functions (such as using RoboRealm for object tracking). More advanced users familiar with ROS can take advantage of 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 certain stretch goals.
Robotics in education
a desktop 3D printer and off the shelf hobby electronics, a school,
anywhere, has a gateway to access advanced robot platforms. Children gravitate to robots which makes them a perfect educational tool. From printing to assembly and finally programming, a school robotics program generates interest in applied Mathematics and Science.
We are offering a limited edition MAKI design screen printed on your choice of an American Apparel Pullover Hoodie or 50/50 T-shirt. This design will only be available through this Kickstarter.
One great thing about a 3D printable robot is that you can print it in any color combination you desire. For a certain number of generous backers we will send more than enough plastic to print MAKI in one of three color combinations.
Having studied Visual Communication at
AIU, Tim has worked as a designer for companies such as Pepsi,
AT&T and the W brand of hotels; on projects ranging from Super
Bowl statues to web portal design. A long time robotics enthusiast,
Tim has designed open source robots which have been featured on popular sites such as PlasticPals, ROS and Engadget.
Maken is currently pursuing her MFA at SCAD Atlanta. Having graduated valedictorian of her class, Maken's
work experience include working for renowned designer Angel Sanchez
in New York. Her work has been displayed in Neiman Marcus and
currently at the Museum of Design Atlanta.
A sophomore at the Georgia Institute of
Technology, Matt has been teaching himself and others about robotics
and electronics from a young age. Past projects include high-altitude
balloons, cell-phone controlled robots, and robotic bears.
The current configuration of MAKI was developed particularly for this Kickstarter project. Originally we intended to launch with a larger version of MAKI (also 3D printable) which includes two arms and grippers.
After a couple of months of development and going through different design iterations, we required more resources. Prototyping costs time and money. To give MAKI all of the functions and capabilities which we envisioned also required hiring outside help.
We felt that in order to deliver a quality product it was important to first raise the capital required to further test our designs as well as to develop an ROS library specifically for MAKI (which includes intelligent behaviors). We decided to release a smaller version of MAKI (the current version featured in this Kickstarter) which would be easier to print and program. It is our goal to raise enough funds to further develop the MAKI platform. First into a stationary platform with two arms and grippers and then eventually into a bipedal version. To do this, we require additional 3D printing equipment, parts (such as Dynamixel robot servos, and sensors), and additional help.
We are asking our backers to support our efforts in designing and marketing 3D printable robots which are not only aesthetically pleasing, but useful as well. We feel that $30 for the STL files necessary to print a humanoid robot is a fair price. While we do plan to eventually release the STL as a free download on our website, we have to establish a business model which makes our work possible.
Post Project Success
During the month of March we will produce step by step instructions for printing and assembling MAKI. This will include several video tutorials for some of the more complex assemblies. We will also produce video tutorials on setting up the Arbotix board, installing Pypose on a pc and using RoboRealm. In mid April we will email backers a link to download our the STL files. We will also include instructions in PDF format as well as links to our video tutorials. At the same time we will also ship T-shirts, Hoodies and ABS plastic to those backers.
We love to design robots, especially those which are easily replicated by others. Currently we are prototyping a larger version of MAKI which features dual arms and AX-12 grippers. If this Kickstarter reaches 60K, we will release the STL files for this version of MAKI to all backers. If this Kickstarter reaches reaches 80K, we will incorporate SpeakJet speech synthesizer for text to speech functionality. We are also working on a small bipedal robot as well as a smaller version of MAKI which uses standard hobby servos. Your additional support will help fund those projects.
the build envelope on my 3D printer is too small?
We are currently working to divide the larger parts into two, so that users who own 3D printer with smaller build envelopes can print MAKI as well.
What is the total cost the build MAKI?
MAKI can be built for between $450 to $525
How can I achieve the smooth finish of the MAKI from the video?
The prototype MAKI was sanded, primed and airbrushed. We will post tutorials on our website for backers interested in obtaining a similar finish.
How can I get involved?
Visit our website under Support to contact us directly.
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, but we will also work to provide some 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.
Backers who pledge $60 or more will receive all the STL files necessary to print MAKI. You will also have access to downloadable assembly instructions in PDF format. In addition, you will receive a limited edition MAKI design printed on an American Apparel T-shirt, available only through this Kickstarter.
Backers who pledge $85 or more will receive all the STL files necessary to print MAKI. You will also have access to downloadable assembly instructions in PDF format. In addition, you will receive a limited edition MAKI design printed on an American Apparel Zip Hoodie, available only through this Kickstarter.
Backers who pledge $100 or more will receive all the STL files necessary to print MAKI. You will also have access to downloadable assembly instructions in PDF format. In addition, you will receive both a limited edition T-shirt and Hoodie, available only through this Kickstarter.