One such robot is Jimmy, introduced on stage by Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich at a recent Code Conference. Jimmy is a walking, talking robot formed from 3-D-printed parts attached to a lightweight aluminium frame and he will be available to consumers later this year, as long as you have around $1,600 and the ability to assemble him.
At this time, Jimmy is primarily a research robot but it is intended to release a slightly less advanced version of its 3-D-printable plans as an open source material, and all other non-printable components, such as motors and processors, will be available in kit form from partner companies.
This should greatly appeal to technology buffs and computer geeks who will be able to write their own code and upload it directly to their robot, programming him to perform many new and unique activities. These programs can then be shared as downloadable apps, which should mean the range of activities that Jimmy can do will rapidly increase, tasks such as singing along with users, translating languages, dancing or maybe even delivering a cold beer or two!
Intel, a California based company, projects that the cost of the robot kits should fall to less than $1,000 within five years. It is also very likely that Jimmy will quickly be joined by other robot friends from rival producers, so perhaps indeed I will soon be able to have my own personal robot. He just needs to come equipped with his own passport and be prepared to tuck into my backpack to accompany me on my travels round the globe!