It has occurred to me what this group needs is a really good group project. One that we can set up at events, to wow the public, and help promote what it is we’re about. Introducing InMoov, the 3D printable humanoid robot.

InMoov is the brainchild of Gael Langevin, a model maker in France. Intended for use by makers, universities, and others, InMoov is the first open hardware humanoid robot. For more information about the project and Gael, visit the official project website at http://www.inmoov.fr/project/.

For The Robot Group the InMoov represents an opportunity for the group to come together and build a centerpiece robot that will serve as a fantastic learning platform for members at all levels of robotics, beginner to seasoned. Everyone will be able to contribute to the build in one way or another be it participating in the build, helping to create the parts, or helping us get the materials together. Once built we will then be able to use it to experiment with many different aspects of more advanced robotics including voice recognition, motion capture, and human/robot interaction.

The build itself will take a while, time depending on the level of involvement of members. With the exception of producing the parts, assembly will be limited to our group build nights so everyone can participate and see it come together. Production of the parts is one of the areas we will need the most participation. InMoov is designed to be 3d printed. However, there are parts that may be better if milled from other materials; I’m thinking aluminum. Parts like the screws, gears, and major structural parts would be stronger and possibly more efficient if made from something other than plastic. These decisions will be left up to the group as part of the build process.

The parts we don’t create in another material will be 3d printed. There are over 250 hours of printing estimated from the official site, and that doesn’t include a large number of parts that don’t have a print time attached. So it wouldn’t surprise me if there wasn’t more like 300 print hours involved. That’s a lot of time and we will need the help of several members getting this done. Printing and finishing parts is going to be a huge area of participation for those willing to do it.

Giving the size of the project we will obviously be breaking it down to manageable pieces starting with the part that will provide the most impact; the head. From here we will work down to the neck, then torso and shoulders, then the arms and hands. The ‘bot does not have legs at this time, though there are several individual groups working on an efficient method for doing this. This means the final part, mobility, is up to the group if we tackle it all or if it’s left to being mounted on a display stand.

You will be able to follow the build here, on our site. Articles will be tagged with “InMoov” to make them easier to find, starting with the very next post which will used to plan and track progress.