CRIIF (Centre de Robotique Intégrée d-Île-de-France), a Parisian R&D lab, has built an odd-looking humanoid robot called SAMI. The simple 3D-printed head was first shown at Innorobo 2011, and since then the robot has been selected as one of fifteen prototypes “most likely to be a commercial success” by a French website called Cap Digital. That distinction means little, given that there weren’t many French robot prototypes at the show and CRIIF appears to be a member of the site.
With just three months, six team members, and a paltry budget of $100,000 USD to both design and build SAMI, some corners had to be cut. That meant the body’s exoskeleton is basically a mannequin that was cut in half, and some simple piping covers its arms. The upper-body sits on a large mobile base outfitted with Primesense sensors for obstacle detection, and its arms can be controlled using a Kinect sensor. So far that’s about all this robot is capable of, though CRIIF believes it will go where few robots have gone before.