Roboy is based on the laboratory’s previous project, the humanoid, frighteningly cycloptic Eccerobot. Built out of plastic, Roboy is modeled on the human musculoskeletal system, but this mimicry goes beyond the aesthetic. Instead of motors in its joints, Roboy uses motor assemblies that pull elastic cables, so the system operates in a way similar to muscles and tendons. AI Lab claims that this will allow Roboy to move “almost as elegantly as a human.”
Currently, Roboy is more of a research project than an engineering enterprise. The team is developing new technologies with an eye toward scalable production using CAD and 3D printing to allow for full production of robots within days of development. Roboy’s chest assembly
The purpose of Roboy is to push for the acceptance of service robots by making people more comfortable having them around all the time. With an aging population, AI Lab believes that such service robots will be increasingly important in helping the elderly to continue independent lives.
Roboy is currently getting a new face chosen by a Facebook contest, and can move its arms. Later, the robot will be covered with a soft skin. Roboy will make its first public appearance at the “Robots on Tour” exhibition on March 9, to celebrate AI Lab’s 25th anniversary.