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Tech wizards at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute have developed an interactive design tool that allows roboticists of any ability to build customized legged or wheeled robots using 3D printed components and off-the-shelf actuators.
It’s a pretty well-known fact that “build a robot” is on everyone’s bucket list. From C-3PO to theT-800, robots have proven themselves as both loyal friends and handy pieces of hardware. Given the evidence, why wouldn’t you want one?
People - Robot - Dawn - Consumer - Printing
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to build a robot. Even since the dawn of consumer 3D printing, the task of putting together a functional bot has proven too tricky for all but the most competent of roboticists.
That’s why Carnegie Mellon researchers have developed an interactive design tool that lets users, novice or expert, design their own customized robots that can be built with 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components.
Users - Interface - Library - Components - Tool
Users are presented with a simple drag-and-drop interface on which they can choose from a library of robotic components. The tool suggests components that are compatible with each other, points out where actuators should go, and can automatically generate 3D printable structural components to connect those actuators.
The tool even provides a simulation environment to test the robot before building it, so users can see exactly how their robot will move and function in the physical world.
Process - Systems - Today - Coros - Assistant
“The process of creating new robotic systems today is notoriously challenging, time-consuming, and resource-intensive," said Stelian Coros, assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon. "In the not-so-distant future, however, robots will be part of the fabric of daily life and more people—not just roboticists—will want to customize robots. This type of interactive design tool would make this possible for just about anybody.”
Coros and his team tried building a number of different robots, both walking and wheeling ones, using the tool....
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