From: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Published August 23, 2017 05:37 PM

Custom robots in a matter of minutes

Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware.

But what if there were a way to let non-experts craft different robotic designs — in one sitting?

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are getting closer to doing exactly that. In a new paper, they present a system called “Interactive Robogami” that lets you design a robot in minutes, and then 3-D print and assemble it in as little as four hours.
 

One of the key features of the system is that it allows designers to determine both the robot’s movement (“gait”) and shape (“geometry”), a capability that’s often separated in design systems.

“Designing robots usually requires expertise that only mechanical engineers and roboticists have,” says PhD student and co-lead author Adriana Schulz. “What’s exciting here is that we’ve created a tool that allows a casual user to design their own robot by giving them this expert knowledge.”

Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Photo: Interactive Robogami enables the fabrication of a wide range of robot designs.

Credit: MIT CSAIL

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