BUCHAREST, Romania – A French designer has shown his humanoid DIY robot to the public for the first time.
The life-size plastic model responded to English-language commands Friday, picking up and dropping a small ball and swiveling its head to follow people.
Designer Gael Langevin unveiled the robot at a technology fair in Romania this week. The idea developed from a prosthetics hand he made in 2011, the first-ever made on a 3-D printer. The robot is made with a 3-D printer and micro-cameras.
It is hoped the robot will be used to help children in schools and hospitals. If connected to the internet, it can answer a variety of questions taken from Wikipedia.
Langevin admits his model, generically called InMoov, is not yet perfect.
“This is a little bit like Geppetto building Pinocchio. You make a robot and you send it in the world and you see what the others are going to do with it,” he said.
Children visiting the fair seemed thrilled.
“He is awesome,” said Adrian Margineanu, a student at Bucharest’s elite St. Sava school. “I like it a lot. I’m tempted to make one.”
For those who don’t want to assemble it, InMoov offers a list of builders in different countries. Langevin estimates that more than 1,000 DIY robots have been made by people who followed his design.
His robot can be programmed to speak English, Spanish, French, Russian and Dutch. But Romanian graphic designer Paul Popescu, 35, has been assembling his own robot and has plans to program it to speak Romanian.
A basic model costs about 1,500 euros ($1,665).