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Thomas Deneux, research engineer at the Paris-Saclay Neuroscience Institute and creator of the AlphAI robot, called on COSMYX 3D's expertise to dress his educational robot.

The Learning Robots adventure

After studying mathematics at ENS Paris, followed by a thesis in computer science on computer vision, Thomas decided to devote himself to neuroscience during his post-doctorate in Israel. "During my thesis, I analyzed brain imaging data. This inspired me to learn more about the brain and to carry out experiments in neurobiology myself," he explains. His multi-disciplinary approach to science led him to the design of artificial intelligence. Drawing inspiration from neurobiology and animal behavior, he decided to develop a robot capable of assimilating tasks for which it had not been programmed.

Now a CNRS research engineer at the Institut de Neurosciences Paris-Saclay, he also created Learning Robots. As part of Paris-Saclay University's 'Poc in Labs 2018 call for projects, Learning robots received support from the Design Spot to design the educational robot. And thanks to a welcome from Incuballiance de Paris-Saclay, the start-up was able to market its first AlphAI, which teaches artificial intelligence (AI) to make it accessible to everyone.

"It immediately seemed obvious to us that a design study was necessary for this project, since it's a toy robot aimed at a young audience," comments Vincent Créance, director of the Design Spot.

Educating the younger generation in new technologies

In terms of design, the main challenge was to offer users - children as well as novice AI scientists - the most pleasant possible man-machine interaction. To achieve this, the Design Center team, in collaboration with designer Antoine Blas, worked on the robot's exterior appearance, covering it with a spherical shell inspired by science fiction cinema and video game classics. Printing the object in plastic was abandoned in favor of 3D printing.

A little robot with a lot going for it

Infrared sensor, wide-angle camera, on-board computer, wheels and LEDs - all had to be protected. The trim components were finalized and 3D printed by COSMYX 3D. A removable, shock-absorbing shell and 5 other structural elements will be produced by additive manufacturing in 8 colors.

To find out more about how the AlphAI robot works, click here

The AlphAI robot combines a number of important innovations to introduce young people to artificial intelligence. By manipulating the robot using a computer, it is possible to decode the use of human intelligence and grasp the computer concepts behind its application.

In this way, we can open the "AI black box" and manipulate algorithms, including the famous artificial neural networks.


What preliminary study is needed for 3D packaging ?

  • Adapting object design to 3D printing

"Prior to 3D printing, we developed G code profiles from the STL files. On the one hand, this work is essential for successful additive manufacturing in detail, both for shape and texture, and on the other, to guarantee repeatability in line with the prototype."

  • Texture study

"For example, we redesigned the curves, particularly those of the robot shell and hoop, to avoid any faceting and achieve a perfectly smooth surface."

  • Consulting

"Our mechanical and technical advice enabled the trim to meet the requirements of the robot assembly."

Interview with our workshop teams.

Where plastic injection or molding is not suitable, small series can be produced quickly using additive manufacturing.

For any project, please us your request here or by phone at + 33 (0)9 75 76 83 96

Because the quality of learning also depends on the robot's environment, a modular arena has been designed to provide an optimized turnkey solution.


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