Printed Perching Pals Proliferate

Anansi in African folktale is a trickster and god of stories, usually taking physical form of a spider. Anansi’s adventures through oral tradition have adapted to the situation of people telling those stories, everything ranging from unseasonable weather to living a life in slavery. How might Anansi adapt to the twenty-first century? [odd_jayy] imagined the form of a cyborg spider, and created Asi the robot companion to perch on his shoulder. Anyone who desire their own are invited to visit Asi’s project page.

Asi was inspired by [Alex Glow]’s Archimedes, who also has a project page for anyone to build their own. According to [Alex] at Superconference 2018, she knew of several who have done so, some with their own individual customization. [odd_jayy] loved the idea of a robot companion perched on his shoulder but decided to draw from a different pool of cultural folklore for Asi. Accompanying him to various events like Sparklecon 2019, Asi is always a crowd pleaser wherever they go.

Like every project ever undertaken, there is no shortage of ideas for Asi’s future and [odd_jayy] listed some of them in an interview with [Alex]. (Video after the break.) Adding sound localization components will let Asi face whoever’s speaking nearby. Mechanical articulation for legs would allow more dynamic behaviors while perched, but if the motors are powerful enough, Asi can walk on a surface when not perched. It’s always great to see open source projects inspire even more projects, and watch them as they all evolve in skill and capability. If they all become independently mobile, we’ll need clarification when discussing the average velocity of an unladen folklore robot companion: African or European folklore?

4 thoughts on “Printed Perching Pals Proliferate

  1. Great work! I’ve been wanting something like this since I saw Clash of the Titans as a kid.

    And then when I was older I read the Rama series, and that probably made it harder to pull off, because now I wanted features.

    Note: It isn’t cloning when you’re inspired by something.

    Maybe this will be the Year of the Shoulder Familiar.

      1. It is a lot like R2D2, if it can do some small percentage of the tricks, you’re there. It doesn’t actually have to be able to repair space fighters, or shoot lightning out of its data port.

        For Bubo the owl, the important things are the spinning eyes, gold and silver plate finish, head that turns 360, and the noises. It doesn’t need to fly, but it should really have a bit of an animatronic comedy routine when it is dropped or bumped. Or if it had a partially functioning perching ability that made it prone to perching upside down, then you’re really be ready to impress.

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