The robot that weaves buildings
Researchers at MIT have created a robot that builds architectural structures similar to a spider or a silkworm. Because the projects created by the robot resembles a cocoon invention called CNSILK – Computer numerically Controlled Silk Cocoon Construction.
For now, the robot builds walls of canvas, aided by hooks near you.
Its creators believe that in a few years, CNSILK can scan the environment and create flexible structures that can attach existing buildings. Researchers who study and 3D printing techniques, mean that gradually replace nylon yarn, which you can see in the video, with harder materials. Finally, the robot will be used for the manufacture or construction of physical frames that will generate customized models.
“It is a manufacturing process that takes into account and help objects near to, weaving around them. Currently working on developing sensors for the robot to know where to go and what to help. Usually, printed using 3D objects are created by placing a layer of material over another. Here, we use elements such as strings, ropes and elastic cords “said Elizabeth Tsai, researcher at MIT.
MIT makes printing robots to be available to the general public
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working on a project aimed at the production of robots using 3D printers to enable the common man to create their own custom robot in just a few hours.
The project, coordinated by Professor Daniela Russian, called “An Expedition in Computing for compiling Printable Programmable Machines” and is conducted by scientists at MIT in collaboration with Harvard University and Pennsylvania. Researchers seek to develop current technology 3D printers allow printing of three-dimensional models from digital files.
“Our goal is to develop the technology to allow anyone to create their own custom robot. The project could allow rapid manufacturing of customized products, transforming the teaching of technology and science in schools,” said Vijay Kumar from MIT.
Currently, creating a robot, from design to manufacturing, it may take years. The process is costly, often prohibitively expensive for amateur roboticists. By using 3D printers, the process should be simplified so much that designing and building a robot would last only 24 hours.
Researchers at the University of Exeter have created a 3D printer that prints chocolate film or plastic instead of ink. Though still a prototype, several chains have already expressed interest in purchasing the device.
3D printing plastic and metal is already widely used in industry to increase productivity in construction.
Liang Hao, coordinator of the research team, said that chocolate printing is similar to any other 3D printing technique, starting with a flat image of a product similar to regular printers. “Then, the 3D format is carried out, film coating, Chocolate printing, ink does not. The procedure for obtaining a three-dimensional shape by stacking the 2D map. Once a film is completed, it is solidified, and the mechanism moves to the next film” .