A DARwIn-OP bracket less kit!
This is a third in a series of posts on how the average person (like me) can get access to this very cool robot platform. I have been thinking about this for a while. I think that Robotis should sale this version of the DARwIn-OP for two reasons. One to lower the cost and two to encourage variety with the DARwIn-OP design.
Let’s look at the first reason. I am building a mech-warfare bot and I am upgrading my Bioloid humanoid for Robogames. Both builds have reinforced my opinion that building a robot is both time consuming and tedious at times. It is also increased my estimate of the labor cost involved in both making the metal brackets, building the DARwIn-OP and testing the robot. It is still hard for me to accurately quessestimation* the total cost saving for this option but I am now thinking it is in the thousands of dollars per robot. The DARwIn-OP will always be a very limited production robot with no economy of scale to lower the price. Also I think that you would need a highly skilled labor force to both build and test the robot. Which also increases the labor cost for the robot.
My second thought is how to encourage modding of the DARwIn-OP. If you sale a kit version of the DARwIn-OP without brackets or outside shell that would encourage buyers to put their own twist on the DARwIn-OP. Specially in the head and body shell design with different colors and shapes. I can tell you that I have been thinking about this since I first saw the robot in person! This also can be further encourage by having a website where people can post the cool mods that they have dreamed up for the robot, very similar to the idea behind Thingiverse for the MakerBot.
As I said above this is a third in a series of post on how the Other Guys can get their own DARwIn-OP! I would be interested in feedback and your ideas on this.
* My term for pulling figures out of your butt! (quesstimate)