Thanks to all the expert blogs, Youtube videos and countless TV shows we now know how to hit a nail, dig-up dirt and paint walls like pros. Don’t know how to sew a button ? Don’t worry there’s DIY for that. But as some of us have come to realize this path to self enlightenment is a slippery slope, the more we do, the more there is to learn. After all not every button is the same.
After exhausting all the home, auto and medical DIYs we are still itching to make that one thing that will make everything else for us. Intel’s resident futurist Brian David Johnson thinks “Jimmy” is the answer. Jimmy is as hi-tech as DIY will ever come by. It’s a fully customizable robot complete with starter kit (available on 21stcenturyrobot.com) and parts that can be created using a 3D printer. For more on Jimmy’s hardware and software make-up head to Trossen Robotics blog. According to Brian – the man behind step-by-step guide to making your own robot, the idea is make robotics accessible to consumers (aka people without advanced degrees in robotics). An underlying open source platform means there will be ongoing improvements and a community of developers building bots that reach beyond a single rigid model. Anyone, anywhere can download the designs to print robots. In the very near future there will be a robo-app martketplace where we can choose what intelligence to add and skills to teach Jimmy. This changes the landscape of robotic development from a covert elitist enterprise into the convergence of shared resources, ideas and free flowing creativity.
Intel’s Jimmy will do for robotics what iphone did for the mobile industry – open the flood gates for crowdsourced innovation. DIYing a robot is not exactly the same as 5 steps to jump start your car. But it’s the first step towards making humanoids – truly personalized. If we can turn a phone into a music stream, payment system, heart rate monitor and TV remote with few free apps the possibilities for Jimmy are beyond limitless.
Excited about tinkering with hi-tech? Expect the DIY kits (starting price $1,600) from Intel to hit the markets end of this year. This will no doubt to be followed by an explosion of DIYs on “Jimmy with pointy ears”, “Jimmy the cocktail mixer” or even better a TV show with two brothers that flip old Jimmy V1 to shining new Jimmy V6.