Intel has something in the works that you won't want to miss: an open source 3D printed robot they are calling Jimmy. Intel's Futurist, Brian David Johnson, disclosed the company's plans for Jimmy at the Maker Faire in New York. Sometime in May of next year Intel will release open-source software and 3D printable files for their robot. For those who are new to 3D printing and robotics but still want to make their own Jimmy, Intel plans to produce a sci-fi themed book with assembly instructions. You can download an early version of the book for free here [PDF].
"Starting with the 3D files, everyone should be able to design and customize their own robot. Next, the software that runs the robot and makes up its brain is free and open. You can play with the operating system and even design different apps for your robot," Intel said in their release. Johnson also confirmed Intel's plans to sell a DIY robotics kit which includes all of Jimmy's electronic components. The kit will be priced between $500 and $1000 dollars.
As far as capability goes, Johnson said that Jimmy will be comparable to a "Smartphone with legs." They are hoping the maker community at large will sign on to the open source nature of the project and design body types and apps for Jimmy besides those they initially release. "More than anything else we want you to share your designs with others. Did you come up with a cool new leg design? What's your latest app? Even the production of these robots is open; people all over the world can collaborate to build better, smarter, funnier and more exciting robots."
You can watch Brian David Johnson discussing Jimmy and the future of robotics here:
3D printing is helping a number of companies and hobbyists take their robots to the next level. InMoov and Brave Robotics are both working on 3D printed bots while the R2B2 cracks the password on your Smartphone.