frackenpohl poulheim: myon
original content
jun 14, 2010
frackenpohl poulheim: myon

left: ‘myon’ endoskeleton
right: ‘myon’ with skin

image © designboom



cologne-based industrial design studio frackenpohl poulheim designed the humanoid
robot ‘myon’, which was created by the neurorobotics research laboratory at the
humboldt-universität zu berlin within the framework of the european research project alear.
myon represents the m-series, which consists of five similar robots that are based on a novel
modular construction principle. the 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 with their close cooperation. the result
of the first phase of workshops was to define the nature and character of ‘myon’ together
with the scientists. thereafter, the appropriate proportion for the stature needed to be designed
and aligned with the construction team.



skin of ‘myon’ is made of a transparent top layer of makrolon and a layer of glass fibre stabilized polycarbonate.
image © designboom



‘this step has an enormous impact on the impressions, that a robot gives to its beholder.
robots easily appear menacing, if for instance shoulders are designed too massive. myon
was supposed to look friendly. analogue to its actual body height that equates the size of
an eight year old child, it shall not stand for danger’ – andré poulheim, who worked in
collaboration with thorsten frackenpohl.

 all project partners conformed that no copy of a human being should be created, but
a product combining a biological human format with a technical appearance.


detachable head that functions autonomously even without the body
image © designboom



besides its creative-symbolic functions, the housing of the robot has to meet technical
applicatory functions as well. if ‘myon’ tumbles, his skin protects the sensitive endoskeleton.
similarly, the unproblematic handling and transport of the robot becomes possible only
after mounting the external, thermoformed shells. bayer materialscience succeeded in
developing a special material for this application which at the same time meets design
requirements and technical specifications. a transparent top layer from makrolon provides
a favoured depth effect while fibre-glass reinforced polycarbonate as the base layer gives
the necessary strength.

built in touchscreen
image © designboom



video demonstrating myon’s movements
the model here has no arms showcasing that each of the body parts can work autonomously from each other.



endoskeleton framework
image © designboom


image © designboom



purpose built adapters connect the modular bodyparts and provide power as well as data transfer.
image © designboom



debuting the newly developed robot ‘myon’, the neurorobotics research laboratory
introduces the worldwide first humanoid robot whose body parts can be demounted
and mounted during operation mode. during this process, all body parts keep their functions
as they are fully autonomous concerning three aspects: energy supply, processing power
and neural network are arranged locally on the robot.

‘myon’ is a high complexity system. nevertheless, its behavior does not collapse when
damage occurs. cutting a cable or removing an electronic part therefore won´t lead to
malfunction of the robot. the body parts have multiple cross-links and work together



image © designboom



technical specifications:

125 cm in height
15 kg in weight
6 self sufficient bodyparts
7 multifunctional adapters
for physical and sensorial connection
30 active envelopes
35 torsion springs for biological movements
192 multimodal
sensorical data every 10 ms

‘myon’ was showcased at DMY international design festival berlin 2010.



image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



image © designboom



‘myon’ scans the space identifying this specific shade of yellow



once identified, it follows the movement of this yellow object



screen showcasing ‘myon’s focus on identified item



from left to right: torsten siedel, andré poulheim, thorsten frackenpohl, christian thiele

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DMY berlin design festival 2010 (43 articles)

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