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MIT scientists created a working hydraulic robot from a single 3D print – Quartz

by • April 5, 2016 • No Comments

We’re getting to the point we are 3D printing is slowly becoming useful. Earlier this week, Stratasys, the biggest 3D printing device developer, showed off new innovation that can print full objects in one go, without any assembly required.
Currently (April 6), researchers at MIT’s CSAIL desktop science lab revealed that they can print working robots on one 3D printing device, of a single print. The robots, that require to be hooked up to a battery source, are turn it intod up of solid and liquid parts, that may have big implications on how we turn it into robots to interact with humans in the next.

The lab’s printing device can print eight various materials at once, enabling it to turn it into liquid-filled tubes that can be utilized to actuate robots’ joints. The various heads can emit solids, while others lay down liquids. Applying special UV lights that cure the solid materials as they print—but leaving the liquids alone—the printing device can accurately print difficult structures with varied physical properties. A video generated by MIT shows a hydraulic valve that it created to pump liquids, as well as a roughly six-pound robot with complex moving parts.

“Our approach, that we call ‘Printable-bodied Hydraulics,’ is a step towards the rapid fabrication of functional machines,” said Daniela Rus, lab director, and member of the new billion-dollar Toyota robotics research lab, in a release. “All you have to do is stick in a battery and motor, and you have a robot that can practically walk right out of the printing device.”
The lab’s robot has created-in “bellows” that were printed within it that use fluid pressure that empowers it to move. MIT in addition showed that it may use this same concept to manufacture soft, grippy hands for robots, that it installed on a Baxter robot, generated by Rethink Robotics. Applying the liquid-filled fingers, the bot was able-bodied to deftly pick up an egg without damaging it.
Whilst MIT and others have been working on robots that won’t crush us if we interact with them, the system to turn it into them hasn’t been this effortless previously. Obviously, MIT’s little six-legged robot is not really as difficult as C-3PO, or actually a Roomba, but it does hint at one future next of robotics: We’re approximately the point where we may print a robot that we may safely use in our homes.
Hopefully, yet, if robots at any time take over, they won’t realize that they can now easily print off fully functional versions of themselves on MIT’s new machine. Otherwise this lab in Massachusetts has most likely doomed us all.

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