By the end of 2014, Intel says everyone and their dog will be able to buy a kit to build their own 3-D printed robot. The package will start at $1,600 — a relatively small price to assemble your own ally for the inevitable uprising.
<re/code> reports that the kit will be available online here later this year, will run on Intel Edison, and will come equipped with the non-printable parts necessary to build your very own whatever the name of that robot from Flubber is. Intel’s Brian David Johnson brought his own build-a-bot, Jimmy, to the Code Conference this week to talk about the future of at-home robotics and his bot’s ability to dance (like “a stilted guy”), walk, talk, and tweet.
Johnson said at the Conference that he hopes the kit will “lower the barrier of entry to robotics” by allowing interested parties to build essentially just a humanoid “smartphone with legs.” Customers will be able to individualize their robot to perform whatever entertaining or useful task its maker desires — so just like Buildabear, but with superhuman intelligence and impressive force.
Your robot will be completely different from mine; you customize it and program the artificial intelligence, not by having a PhD in robotics, but by downloading apps.
Intel predicts that in the next five years aspiring robot-owners will be able to purchase the kit for under $1000. In the meantime, though, there has to be a way to make dropping over a grand on a robot kit a worthwhile investment, right? Perhaps there’s some line of work you could put your little creation towards? Johnson suggests beer delivery, but I know Carolyn 2.0 will have her hands full squashing the annoying robot companions of everyone we come across.