Designed, programmed and printed!
The video above displays three prototypes resulting from a new project lead by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). With a 10 million USD grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the collaboration of teams from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, researchers hope to develop technology that could enable anyone to manufacture their own customized robot.
Currently it takes a lot of time and money to produce, program and design a functioning robot. Although the project’s in its early phases, it aims to ¨dramatically reduce the development time for a variety of useful robots, opening the doors to potential applications in manufacturing, education, personalized healthcare, and even disaster relief,” explains Rob Wood, an associate professor at Harvard University.
On a larger scale, the project aims to democratize access to robots by advancing the state of the art of today’s increasingly accessible 3D printers- allowing individuals to design and build functional robots from material as readily available as a sheet of paper.
Researchers also envision that these types of robots could provide fix-it-yourself solutions for household problems;you could simply head to a printing store and pick out a blueprint from a catalog of robotic designs and customise an easy-to-use robotic device built to tackle the problem. Within a day, the robot would be printed, assembled, programmed and ready for use.
Can we make robots to help solve problems that are part of our daily lives? Click HERE to find out about a European initiative which envisions robots as companions for everyday citizens.