Cologne,June 7th 2010 – Cologne-based industrial design studio Frackenpohl Poulheim designed thehumanoid robot “Myon”, which was created by the Neurorobotics ResearchLaboratory at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin within the framework of theEuropean research project ALEAR. Myon represents the M-Series, which consistsof five similar robots that are based on a novel and fascinating modularconstruction principle. Third party in creating the external appearance of “Myon”is Bayer MaterialScience.
At a very early stage within the development process of the robot,Frackenpohl Poulheim and the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory started withtheir close cooperation. The result of the first phase of workshops was to definethe nature and character of “Myon” together with the scientists. Thereafter,the appropriate proportion for the stature needed to be designed and alignedwith the construction team. “This step has an enormous impact on theimpressions, that a robot gives to its beholder”, says André Poulheim, whoagreed with Thorsten Frackenpohl to work on the project even withoutcompensation. “Robots easily appear menacing, if for instance shoulders aredesigned too massive. Myon was supposed to look friendly. Analogue to itsactual body height that equates the size of an eight year old child, it shall notstand for danger”, says Poulheim. All project partners conformed that no copyof a human being should be created, but a product combining a biological humanformat with a technical appearance.
Besides its creative-symbolic functions, the housing of the robot has tomeet technical applicatory functions as well. If “Myon” tumbles, his skinprotects the sensitive endoskeleton. Similarly, the unproblematic handling andtransport of the robot becomes possible only after mounting the external,thermoformed shells. Bayer MaterialScience succeeded in developing a specialmaterial for this application which at the same time meets design requirementsand technical specifications. A transparent top layer from Makrolon provides afavoured depth effect while fibre-glass reinforced polycarbonate as the baselayer gives the necessary strength.
Launching the newly developed robot “Myon”, the Neurorobotics ResearchLaboratory introduces the worldwide first humanoid robot whose body parts canbe demounted and mounted during operation mode. During this process, all bodyparts keep their functions as they are fully autonomous concerning threeaspects: energy supply, processing power and neural network are arrangedlocally on the robot.
„Myon“ is a system with an outstanding high complexity.Nevertheless, its behavior does not collapse when damage occurs. Cutting acable or removing an electronic part therefore won´t lead to malfunction of therobot. The body parts have multiple cross-links and work togethercooperatively.