California robotics startup OhmniLabs created their robot, Ohmni, to connect people with their family and better communicate with seniors from anywhere in the world. Ohmni gives an in-person-like interaction that is lacking from a phone call or video chat. There are no missed calls, having to hold a phone, or sit in front of a computer to video chat. Instead, you are there in the robot, able to check-in and hangout. Test users have already been using Ohmni to check in on aging parents, watch sports games together, enjoy dinner together, and play hide and seek with their kids. OhmniLabs’ overall mission is to make useful robots that help people improve their everyday lives.
Ohmni is proudly manufactured and assembled from the ground up in Santa Clara, CA. To be able to meet user needs and iterate through different prototypes, OhmniLabs built an infrastructure to accommodate rapid, local production. 3D printing is not only for prototyping needs, but is used for production parts in their robots.
A large printer farm of Printrbot Plus 3D printers are at the heart of OhmniLabs’ in-house manufacturing. Each Printrbot produces approximately 10 final production parts daily. Additionally, the Printrbot Big-E 3D printer enables OhmniLabs to build the 18 inches long base sidewall for the robot. In order to control the Printrbot printer farm and to track quality statistics, OhmniLabs developed their own printer farm management software that allows them to schedule prints and log data.
OhmniLabs has seen huge cost benefits of using 3D printing for low-medium volume production parts. Production injection molding tooling is expensive and heavily constrains the design. There are also clear logistical benefits to keep production local and vertically integrated. Ohmnilabs is now focused on scaling up their printer farm to be able to produce hundreds of robots per month.