Let Many Bots Bloom!

Having used bipedal, research and industrial robots, we realised that a big part of the barrier to entry to consumer and mass market healthcare was due to the cost and reliability of many actuators (motors, degrees of freedom etc.) and high quality actuators in those bots. So some time ago, over a coffee far far away, we got the idea that if only we could get extremely expressive and functional robots without so many actuators, we might be onto something. Naturally there’s an obvious area where this has been done before and continues to be done: in toys. But here we were interested in some high level design concepts where the primary goal is expression rather than play.

So we worked with students to create DASR: Deep Avatars Simple Robots. What you seen in the video are the portion of the many sketchbook concepts that were built in the Unity3D engine. With simple actuations, movement to music and kinect input, this was a pretty damn versatile proof of concept. This is mostly for inspiration and fun. We’re not planning to build these in plastic and metal (or blood and chrome), not yet anyway!

And for completeness, here’s the brief that kicked that project off…

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