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  1. And that looks really expensive… Only browsed the vid though, I’m an dinosaur so I had the sound off too. Nice of him to open-source it; I wonder how many people on the planet will make direct use of the CAD files? This would be sort of a snapshot into the state of high-end hobbyist fabrication tech — just how many hobbyists are there on the planet at the level of James (excluding everyone who have access to university or industry robotics labs) and with interest in this sort of robotics. Methinks we are still quite far from the level of what is depicted in Big Hero 6.

    1. Not quite a dinosaur if you’ve seen Big Hero 6 though… wait. You’ve watched it with your kids, didn’t you? That’s cheating…! ;)

      One of my favorite Youtube channel hosts uses to say “that’s okay, I’m destroying this so you don’t have to” whenever he ends up needing to “x-ray” some unlucky gadget with a hammer; I get the feeling the antics of mr. Bruton are best consumed the same way: vicariously, as tech-flavored entertainment. Certainly, anyone with enough interest is welcome to duplicate his efforts (and I salute his choice of licensing), but let’s not forget that’s a decidedly non-trivial amount of material going into such a robot both as shell and its guts, requiring a similarly non-trivial sized cash investment; only to end up with an animated shell that has neither much actual smarts nor much ability to balance itself dynamically under less than ideally flat conditions – and those are the actually hard and useful parts (which is not so say designing this is trivial).

      RobotX is essentially a much more imposing scaled-up version of the tiny robots built out of nothing but 20-ish servos which could “fight” and “dance” (= replay fixed sequences of motion) for the price of a king’s ransom about a decade or so ago (not unlike the glorified RC-cars from “robot” wars / battle bots et al.) That nothing much came of either so far is not accidental, but rather a signal of “sticking motors to a frame is not really the part we’re having problems with”…

  2. Yeah, it’s an end-user thing. Very few people would spend hundreds of hours on this kind of project and sustain it. It’s more or less a time sink, and most normal people are on their time sink phones these days. When I think of a robot that might be useful to me now, I keep thinking of making a robot to attack the neighborhood cats, that’s about all.

    Going back to Big Hero 6, it’s kind of surprising to not come across more attempts at making bag-shaped robots, or more pneumatics. Yeah there is the university stuff, but I haven’t really come across hobbyist stuff if one excludes the pneumatics in Lego robotics. More dev on this area is needed. What we need to do is to send a Stay-puft Marshmallow Man robot to Mars.

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