Intel to offer 3D printed robot kits by end of the year

Intel plans to offer robot enthusiasts a kit that would allow them to build a robot, by the end of the year.

The company launched a customisable, 3D-printable robot at the Re/code Code Conference, developed by ITS resident futurist, Brian David Johnson.

Called the "21st Century Robot", the project brings together developers from the University of Southern California, the Franklin W Olin College of Engineering, and Trossen Robotics, according to the project's website, 21stCenturyRobot.com.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Jimmy the Research Robot took the stage at the event.

According to Krazanich, the two-foot-tall, white, humanoid robot can be programmed to sing, dance and tweet. Consumers can put together the low-cost processor-powered robot with the kit which would retail for $1,600.

The launch video featured developers talking about making robotics more social. The robots would have the computing power to engage in social interactions with humans, including voice and speech recognition.

Built with the Intel Core i5 processor, the robot would be offered with features, such as USB 3.0, Bluetooth and WiFi. However, according to Re/code notes, a robot with i5 processor would cost around $16,000.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, a robot completed repairs on another robot in space this week, taking the possibility of future robots working in deep space a step closer, as also of  earth-based robots working on the project.

Computer World quoted Mathieu Caron, the Canadian Space Agency's mission control supervisor as saying this was a big step. He added every new repair carried out by the robot, further illustrated how useful robotics was and how it could contribute to manned and unmanned missions. He said the robotic work would be even more important one when one travelled further from earth.

Caron also told Computerworld that the agency's work with robots in space contributed to the ability of earth-based robots to work in remote and dangerous areas.

He said one of the key points of usefulness of robotic was the ability to accomplish tasks in areas that were hostile to human beings, whether it was deep in the sea, in a mine or a nuclear power plant.