On April 19, a hasty set of emails was exchanged between, ultimately, the BotFarm and a Japanese robot designer. Dig this drama:
Yoshishiro Shibata (credit: Lem Fugitt); robot arm shield
Yoshishiro Shibata, the notable lead designer of the Kondo series of humanoid robots, was on a flight from Japan to San Francisco, all set to participate in Robogames. But wait. The robot wasn’t complete. Hands were vulnerable, open to attack. They needed a shield.
Shibata-san sketched out the right shield, but not even the most motivated Maker can print from the air (unless of course…). He connected mid-flight with friends on the ground to see what could be done. Michael Overstreet of Cowtown Computer Congress Kansas City caught wind of the designer in distress and contacted MakerBot’s Michael Curry, who in turn sought the assistance of Gian Pablo Villamil, a MakerBot Education evangelist and organizer at Noisebridge in San Francisco.
The sketch became a 3D model, and with Gian Pablo on the case, the model became a fully MakerBotted part, ready for show time at Robogames the next day. After printing, Gian Pablo jumped in the car at his workshop on Treasure Island and made the trek over to the San Mateo Fairgrounds.
The handoff was a success. It is certainly cool that a bi-coastal network of Makers were able to materialize a part for someone in need, especially since that someone was on an international flight. But there’s something else here: for Mr. Shibata, having the tools to create a customized part for his robot was a foregone conclusion, which freed him to design and commission exactly what he needed.
We’re happy MakerBot could help in this process!
UPDATE! For a bunch of awesome coverage of all things Robot, including Robo Games, check out Robots Dreams!