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Intel is building a future of 3D-printed robots and smart shirts

Code Conference 2014 3D printed robot Jimmy Intel
Meet Jimmy, a dancing robot made with 3D printed parts

Most wearables are smart gadgets that can be worn, but Intel wants to take it one step further by smartening up our clothes.

That, and let consumers create customizable robots using 3D printing.

Intel revealed its kooky visions for the future at the 2014 Code Conference, where its smart shirt and 3D-printed robots stood under the same spotlight that also illuminated Google's new self-driving cars and Microsoft's near-real-time translation software this week.

Hi-tech fashion

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took the stage at Code Conference wearing a "smart shirt" covered in sensors for monitoring heart rate, emotions and more.

He said the sensors can communicate with a smartphone app, according to Engadget.

Code Conference 2014 Intel smart shirt

Just looks like a shirt, to be honest (credit: Engadget)

And while Intel is only building the sensors - not the shirt itself - Krzanich said the company's vision includes "eyes, ears, wrist and torso" wearables, not just shirts.

Intel expects to launch the smart shirt this summer.

Keepin' Jimmy in total control

Meanwhile Intel also unveiled a customizable 3D-printed robot that it plans to bring to market by the end of 2014 starting at $1,600 (about £960, AU$1,735) on, according to Re/code.

That money will get you a kit that includes elements that can't be 3D printed, like wires, batteries and processors. But the rest of the robot will be 3D printed, and the schematics will be available freely online.

Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson debuted his custom version of the robot, named Jimmy, at Code Conference. Jimmy danced and tweeted, among other things.

The low-cost consumer version runs on an Intel Edison chip, but a $16,000 (about £9,575, AU$17,350) version with an Intel i5 will reportedly also go on sale.

It's also open source, so developers can create their own "apps" to run on the robot, letting users customize their robots like smartphones. So get ready for a resurgence of highly advanced fart-noise apps.