Those looking to tinker with humanoid robots aren't exactly lacking for options these days, but Cognitive Spring is taking a slightly different approach than most with its Arduino-based cSpring bipedal robot -- one of the semifinalists in the Insert Coin competition here at Expand. Rather than offering a readymade robot like Nao that largely makes software the focus of user customization, cSpring is designed to be highly customizable (and open source) on both the hardware and software fronts. Indeed, the company is hoping to encourage such development by rewarding crowd-sourced work with what it calls "paid achievements."
As for the robot itself, it's currently designed to work with an 11-inch MacBook Air that conveniently doubles as its torso, and it relies on a PrimeSense motion sensor to monitor its surroundings. One of the real selling points for potential developers, though, are the array of servos that power the robot's legs, which can operate simultaneously and provide some 40 pounds of lift apiece. Those also give the robot a decent range of movement, although it hasn't yet learned to fully walk (that's one area the company suggests could be expanded upon by others).