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Meet Poppy, a more human humanoid robot

October 23, 2013

PoppyA team of researchers at Inria and ENSTA-Paristech in France has build a new 3D-printed humanoid robot that looks a little different than most robots.  Its morphology closely mimics real human form, and it has some features, like an articulated (and powered) spine, that are quite rare in humanoids this size.

The robot, dubbed “Poppy,” stands 84 cm tall and weighs 3.5 kg.  It’s driven by 25 Robotis Dynamixel actuators, mostly MX-28‘s.  It’s controlled by a Raspberry Pi, and uses a large number of sensors, including force-sensitive resistors, two cameras, and an IMU.

The cost of the open-source robot is about 8000 euros (about US$11,000), most of which is in the servos.  That’s not too bad for a humanoid robot this size, and the team has striven to make it easy to assemble and program, so anyone can catch up and contribute.

While the robot can’t walk on its own yet, with a bit of help balancing it demonstrates a very humanlike gait.  The researchers intend to continue refining and programming the robot with the goal of walking on its own.  Using 3D printed structural components has allowed the team to iterate very quickly, for example, settling on the angled-in upper legs after first trying the more typical straight-leg design.  Check it out in the video below.

More videos and pictures are available in the Poppy gallery.

[Via Gizmag and the Poppy Project]

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