Human Sized Robots with Zach Allen

Robots are making their way into every area of our lives. Security robots roll around industrial parks at night, monitoring the area for intruders. Amazon robots tirelessly move packages around in warehouses, reducing the time and cost of logistics. Self-driving cars have become a ubiquitous presence in cities like San Francisco.

For a hacker in a dorm room, or a researcher in a small lab, how do you get started with robotics? There are drones and other small options like AWS DeepRacer–but what is the equivalent of the Raspberry Pi for large, human-sized robots?

Zach Allen is the founder of Slate Robotics, a company that makes large, human-sized robots that are at a low enough cost to be accessible to tinkerers, researchers, and prototype builders. Zach joins the show to talk about the state of robotics and why he started a robot company.

What Zach is doing is quite hard–he is a solo founder who has bootstrapped a robotics company from scratch. He is set up in a strip mall in Missouri, where he has set up a row of 3-D printers to create the parts for his robots. He programs and assembles these robots himself.

Whether you are interested in robots are thinking about starting a hardware company, this episode could be useful to you.

Transcript

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