My Robot Nation lets you build your own mini-robot
November 30, 2011
Following a month long beta, My Robot Nation has officially launched its new website, which offers everyone a chance to create their own personalized miniature robots. With the browser-based building tools, visitors to the website can customize a robot from scratch, which they can then order to be generated with a 3D printer and shipped to them. It may sound like a simple concept, but that simplicity is what sets My Robot Nation apart from other 3D printing services on the market.
While most companies require an understanding of professional 3D imaging tools like CAD or Maya, this one gives customers a simple point-and-click platform to build their creations right in their browser. Using WebGL, visitors can choose from an assortment of parts, colors, and graphics to build an interactive 3D rendering of their robots piece by piece and view it from all angles. It feels similar to the Creature Creator in the video game, Spore, or a virtual Mr. Potato Head doll. If an order is placed, the design is fed into one of Z Corporation's 3D processing machines to print a full-color replica. The finished product will feel like plaster of Paris and be just as fragile, but will look exactly like the rendering on the website. With the impressive amount of features to choose from, there's almost a limitless number of robots to be made.
The user friendly design tool was developed by veterans of the video game industry, who know first hand the importance of making an easily accessible interface. My Robot Nation's founders, Mark Danks and Sara W. Stocker, envision the WebGL interface being applied to other designs and tools in the future. As their site and many science fiction movies have said: "Robots are just the beginning."
Currently, the website is offering 2-inch models for US$17.99 all the way up to a 6-inch model for US$169.99.