<< This is a guest post written by Annapaola Vacanti, who's previously been featured in our blog with her work done at frameopensource.org >>
Robotics Need Design, And Design Needs Participation!
Working as designers, we are daily forced to face new exciting projects that pose unprecedented challenges to the way we approach the design process.
The experience of our POS3D workshop began a few months ago, when me and my colleagues – we are three PhD students studying at DAD (Architecture and Design department of the University of Genoa, Italy), directed by our professor Niccolò Casiddu – decided to take on the challenge of developing a project for the European Edition of Maker Faire, a huge event held in Rome between 18th and 20th October.
As we were brainstorming ideas, we managed to put together our different areas of expertise and merge our interests into the project of a workshop revolving around the design of a humanoid robot, whose body is fully 3D printable. We based our design on the robot Poppy, which is the result of Matthieu Lapeyre PhD thesis, published as a fully open source project in 2012.
Starting from the existing 3D models, we worked on Grasshopper to create a definition that allows to modify Poppy’s arms and legs appearance using texture mapping, plus of course choosing the colors of all his body parts and the expression of his eyes.
Once we had our definition, we 3D printed all the body parts of our robot in PLA and were ready to head off to Rome. The goal of the workshop was to create an interactive online/offline experience, where visitors could design their personal robot with us using ShapeDiver’s interface, then see pieces being printed and assembled live.