TECH

This 3D-Printed Robot Can Walk Itself Straight Off The Production Line

The robots are coming, the robots are coming...

07/04/2016 11:08

This is no ordinary robot.

You see rather than using 3D printers to build the individual parts of a robot, MIT have been able to print the entire robot in one go, and then watch it wander straight off the production line.

The resulting effect is bizarre, a little scary and vitally important in the advancement of cheap robotics.

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory were able to accomplish this feat by hacking a printer that can effectively do three things at the same time.

MIT

It prints the hard shell of the robot, the soft moveable bellows for the hydraulics and then adds the fluid into the hydraulics, all at the same time.

3D printers aren't really designed to work like this so the scientists had to do some hacking to the printer's software.

They solved the conundrum by tricking the printer into thinking that its cleaning fluid applicator could actually be used as a working applicator in the printing process.

While you still need to add a motor and battery, there are a huge range of applications for small robots that can be printed in one./

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