Watch This 3D-Printed Robot walk out of its Printer
by MATT BURGESS
This 3D-printed robot has been created with both solids and liquids at the same time. It also doesn’t need any assembly.
Computer scientists at MIT developed the hydraulically-powered robot to be created in a single step on a commercially available 3D-printer.
The printer is able to produce an entire robot that can almost walk out of the printer. Once the robot has been printed the only human input it needs before it can start walking is to have a battery attached and a motor inserted into its body.
The six-legged animalistic bot – which was printed in 22 hours – can walk thanks to of 12 hydraulic pumps that are printed into its body.
“Inkjet printing lets us have eight different print-heads deposit different materials adjacent to one another, all at the same time,” explained Robert MacCurdy, who was involved in the research, which has been dubbed ‘printable hydraulics’.
The research from MacCurdy and others at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will be presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in May.
The team were able to print liquids alongside solid materials using an inkjet printer with eight different print heads. UV light solidified the intended materials but did not impact on those that were intended to remain in a liquid form.
Hod Lipson, a researcher from Columbia University was not part of the study, said that the work marked an “important step” in advancing 3D-printed. In an MIT article he said that the development would start “moving from printing passive parts to printing active integrated systems”.
The robot isn’t the first to be created with 3D-printing. Disney Research has developed a system that allows novices to 3D-print robots from scratch.
The design tool allowed people with no robotic experience to select the number of legs, shape and size of a robot, which was then 3D-printed.
In the UK, Bristol-based Open Bionics is developing an open source 3D-printed prosthetic hand that can be manufactured in less than two days.
Article was originally posted here