Boston Dynamics made a massive splash these past few years with their functional robotic dogs. Chances are the average person has seen the test footage of these formidable robots. Now, they’ve joined forces with Italian bionics company Youbionic, who will be developing and melding arms to their Spotmini robot. The company also released the STL files for their original 3D printable robotic arm to the public.
Both firms hope that some day these sorts of smart robotics will be common in factories and workplaces, carrying out a whole range of tasks. “The main mission of Youbionic is to develop robotic devices that can be an alter ego of its owner, designed to be controlled as if we were exactly there, that they can get us where we can not get, that they can make us walk on Martian soil, visit planets, navigate space.” said Youbionic founder, Federico Ciccarese.
The company improved on the basic dog design by attaching a two arm system that can carry out assembly and component testing. Boston Dynamics already showcased their machine’s ability to open doors and respond to pushing and shoving earlier. However, the new, more humanoid formation is far more efficient for certain tasks, namely the human ones.
Youbionic & 3D Printing
Youbionic already made headlines a few months ago with a robotic hand which could mimic human motion quite precisely. This is a more remote form of the same concept. While the previous one needed a human manning it up close, this could be remote-controlled or pre-programmed.
While this video above is just a concept rendering, there’s little reason to doubt Youbionic or Boston Dynamics abilities. They both have a stellar track record of producing bionic components and have shown them to work. This would be merely a matter of building similar devices to both company’s earlier work (Spot and the Youbionic 1), and then melding them together.
The company’s main aim is to create assistive devices that increase productivity for their users. We’re also seeing a growing need for such applications in space travel and ocean exploration, two industries that are dependant on such bionics and remote control. 3D printing plays a crucial role in producing these machines, providing shape formations that were previously impossible.
Featured image and video courtesy of Youbionic and Boston Dynamics.