Youbionic develop robotic centaur with 3D printed arms and Boston Dynamics Spot Mini

Youbionic, an Italian technology startup using additive manufacturing to create an augmented humanoid, has created a mechanical centaur with the help of Boston Dynamics’ Spot Mini robot.

Federico Ciccarese, Founder of Youbionic, developed the Youbionic One assistive device based on its 3D printed arm attachments. The device now features a pair of arm, a robotic spine and the top section of a ribcage.

“In the last months I have worked on the design of the Humanoid,” Ciccarese told 3D Printing Industry. “I have dealt with the improvement of the movements of the hands, [and] continued to develop arms that could move just like human arms. [This] led to a revolutionary robotic backbone that flexes in 2 senses very smoothly.”

“Here I was reminded of the fantastic Boston Dynamic Spot Mini that is able to move very well in the environment but has a capacity to manipulate objects and very limited due to its single beak. I thought this was the perfect fusion!”

The Youbionic One

Youbionic’s products have significantly progressed over the past few years. In 2014, Ciccarese and his team began the development of a 3D printable bionic hand operated by an Arduino microcontroller. A year later, Youbionic released the design of its 3D printed exo-arms and continued with finger tests for its first five-finger hand prototype.

Now, with several years of iteration, Youbionic is visualizing a robotic assistive “pet” that is capable of completing tasks indoors. Ciccarese continued, “[I] got the full body and immediately imagined how to make it able to move in certain spaces. I thought that if I could do that, it would have great potential in the home and work environment and so on.”

The Youbionic One. Photo via Youbionic.
The Youbionic One. Photo via Youbionic.

During the development of the Youbionic One, Ciccarese began a collaboration with Actuonix to provide all the actuators needed to assemble the robotic device. Boston Dynamics, on the other hand, has used 3D printing to power its advanced robots, including the Atlas humanoid.

With advanced robotics in common, Ciccarese concluded, “The main mission of Youbionic is to develop robotic devices that can be an alter ego of its owner. This can get us where we can not go; they can help us walk on Martian soil, visit planets, and navigate through space.”

Ciccarese is now looking for investors to accelerate this project.

The Youbionic One and Boston Dynamics mechanical centaur. Photo via Youbionic.
The Youbionic One and Boston Dynamics mechanical centaur. Photo via Youbionic.

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Featured image shows the Youbionic One and Boston Dynamics mechanical centaur. Photo via Youbionic.