Krailling, February 15, 2017 – EOS, the quality leader for high-end Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions, has announced its support of the Swiss society Devanthro and the Roboy project at the Technical University of Munich.
The goal of the Roboy project is to advance humanoid robotics to the capability of human bodies.
The vision is to iteratively improve Roboy models until the performance is comparable to humans in dexterity, robustness and flexibility.
The first prototype (Roboy Junior) has muscles and tendons rather than motors in the joints. It has been developed under substantial usage of AM: The complete skeletal body structure of Roboy, which encases his bones and muscles, has been built with EOS systems for Plastic Additive Manufacturing.
The use of Industrial 3D Printing has several key advantages; among them is the possibility of building complex functional geometries as well as sustaining a fast and iterative hardware development.
Additive Manufacturing allows for highly complex structures which are also extremely light and stable.
It provides a high degree of design freedom, optimization and integration of functional features, and the manufacture of small batch sizes at economical unit costs.
The Roboy development benefits from all these advantages: Building complex functional geometries without classical fabrication constraints allows the Roboy team to implement functionality directly into the geometrical parts
Due to Roboy’s maximal mechatronic complexity on a minimal space, it is not possible to validate some project requirements in simulation.
AM is key to fast manufacturing of individual components, the modularization and parameterization of the robot’s construction, enabling an iterative hardware development.
Rafael Hostettler, Roboy project leader, comments: “In software development, rapid development cycles allow software improvement by testing it ‘in the wild’. Additive Manufacturing allows us to apply this approach to robotics, enabling a rapid development to find optimal functional parts in a fraction of the time.” He continues: “EOS’ AM technology is a key component for doing this as it enables the iterative hardware development that is crucial for our project.”
Humanoid robotics: A vision with social impact
In the future, with the increasing advances in Artificial Intelligence and robotics, robots will play a much more prominent role both in society and at work – to the point that especially dangerous and repetitive tasks can be completed by robots.
First and foremost, the human musculoskeletal system is a proven solution that leads to dexterous, dynamic and robust robots. In addition, a human-like robot eases interaction between human and machine significantly, making it more intuitive and natural.
Over centuries humans have adapted the environment to fit their needs, humanoid robots therefore fit into this environment more easily – thus avoiding expensive adaptions.
Dr. Adrian Keppler, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at EOS, says: “While a larger number of companies focusses on AI development, only a very small number of projects worldwide develop humanoid robotics. Therefore, we are all the more proud to support the renowned Roboy project and see its meaning. As the strengths of Additive Manufacturing lie in those areas where conventional manufacturing reaches its limitations, EOS’ technology is the ideal solution for a research project as ambitious as Roboy. We are happy that the Roboy team is trusting in EOS to realize their vision.”
EOS nurtures a vibrant ecosystem of partners and, by means of venture investments, helps incubate promising start-ups.
It’s this interaction along the whole industrial value-chain that enables the development of extensive solutions for 3D printing. Hence contributing to the further digitization and automation of manufacturing.