I'm actually looking for a Happy New Year for 2021 thread, but as of the time of this writing, there isn't one, so I'm posting here instead as the theme is sorta similar -- what can we expect in the coming year?
In my case, since I really want to have a successful project this year, I'm approaching from a different angle -- that of hobby grade RC. I only got into hobby grade RC very recently... before my experience was only toy grade. I just couldn't stomach spending on a single chassis or fuselage more money than what a decent 3D printer would cost, until I realized there is so much in the RC community that can be applied to robotics. You can get started cheap with Tamiya, and there are even people building from scratch, especially with cardboard planes. There is so much to learn with regards to radio transmitter / receiver standards, multiple communications channels, first person view, rechargeable batteries, electronic speed controllers -- as arduino roboticists, we're familiar with dual motor PWM drivers, which are just low power low speed versions. Not to mention with hobby grade car RC there's a good mix of plastic, metal, and carbon fiber parts, the aim being to make the highest performance lightweight chassis.
I realized there may be an opposite approach to the robowaifu construction problem. So far I've been looking at dolls, starting with huggable things, silicone sex dolls, etc, then scratching my head how the electronics would fit. My 3D modelling has been too much focused on injection molded plastics which would probably crack and fall apart due to the density. The the designs I've had in mind have all been heavy designs which would be impossible to power inexpensively. So why not approach the problem from an RC hobbyist perspective? Lightweightness being paramount, with just a thin sliver of vacuum formed plastic for the bodyshell? Yes, the robowaifu may be dented, but it will be easier for her to achieve optimum movement characteristics, that lively movement. Similar to how a hobby RC is so powerful compared to a mere toy. I also notice how the customizeability and interchangeability of parts in the RC scene is exactly what we want with robowaifus -- pick a scale, and all components will be compatible.
Some of us can supply chassis parts, others body shells. Then someone can supply TX / RX modules that enable us to monitor her batteries, her line of sight, temperature, and other parameters. They are already doing this with drift RC cars, albeit with close to thousand dollar transmitters! We can do the same with an STM32 or ESP32, or just hook her up wirelessly to a tablet and have the software guys here create an app. Just like how cars are standardized to 2-3 channels and aircraft to 4-8 channels (6 being optimal), we can have standard channels for communications... e.g. one channel dedicated to robot vision, several dedicated to locomotion, etc. We can pick either a 2S (7.4V) or 3S (11.1V) standard for our motor controllers depending on her size and power requirements.
Think of a robowaifu as a very big complex giant scale RC. On the high end will be the near-1:1 scale just like the turbine powered RC jets costing more than a car. On the introductory end would be a few hundred dollar kits in 1:3 scale and smaller.