Thanks for raising this legitimate concern and offering the opportunity for me to explain our position on this aspect.
We understand the frustration for everyone wanting to get their hand on a cool robot when the price goes far beyond the hobbyist budget. We’ve already experienced that with our previous humanoid project Poppy which was using 25 Dynamixels.
Maybe we will drop Dynamixels in the future but to be honest, it is not the problem.
Given the current state of robotics technologies, it is just not possible to offer more than a toy for less than $1000.
Personally I expect the “consumer humanoid robot market” to converge toward a cost between a high-end computer and a small car, simply because a robot involve complex hardware.
Inside, you will have at least a powerful computer, batteries, cameras, plenty of high performance motors, dozen of electronics boards, thousand of mechanical parts and so on… It is just not possible to get all of this for less than we pay our personal computer. At least if you want to respect workers building it and our environment in the process.
At Pollen Robotics we are aiming to offer convincing multipurpose robots for services and assistance. So to be totally transparent on our roadmap, we are not focused on cost-killing but rather on improving the state-of-the-art so we can do more with a $20k humanoid robot until it eventually becomes a reasonable investment for most of us.
But meanwhile how the whole potential userbase could be involved?
First, my comment concerns only adult-size humanoid robot but it is possible to offer more simple robot (yet lovely) for an accessible cost. We already did it and will probably do it again
Second, while Reachy is not a reasonable investment for an individual, it is clearly a good one for a team in a fablab. You won’t gather people and won’t go far with a cheap yet shitty robot but you can with a high-end robot such as Reachy, and why not launch your own robotics company!
We are super happy to know more & more individuals are excited to add their energy in the collective effort to make robotics finally happen.
To those who want to do it right now, my message is : Don’t invest your money in low quality product but rather invest your time in the nearest fablab. Motivate people around you, launch a collaborative project and find local budget to buy a proper platform to work with (Reachy or another robot). Robotics is too complex and expensive to go alone, bring friends with you and you will really enjoy this exciting journey!