PLEN is a unique take on a desktoy.

Billed as “the world’s first printable open-source humanoid [small size bipedal walking robot”, the little guy can be bought as a kit or made from scratch if you have the means to do so.

The folks over at BinarySpace wanted to have a crack at making their own version of PLEN, but hit a roadblock with the motors used to give it motion. Not only are the intended motors difficult to track down, but they’re also expensive.

Instead, they replaced them with cheaper 9g motors. While that solved one problem, the rest of the robot had to be redesigned to make use of the new motors.

The resulting work in progress project is PLENZA, a cheaper, locally made version of the PLEN2. You can see it in motion below:

Want your own PLENZA but don’t want to fork out the astronomical $899 (R13 556) plus shipping for an official kit? BinarySpace has you covered as the entire project is available on Github for you to copy and remaster.

Just a warning from that very page, however:

Note: This is a work in progress. We are still busy building and testing it. Proceed at own risk :)

Tom Van den Bon, BinarySpace Co-Founder, says that they’re aiming for PLENZA to cost around R2 000 to create.