Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have produced a walking robot out of 3D printing.
The team of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab had once believed that there’s a whole different way to use 3D printing, thus, having the concept to 3D print whole robots. According to CSAIL director, Daniella Rus, this breakthrough is called “printable hydraulics” that could be possible with any multi-material 3-D inkjet printer to create a liquid-filled pump whilst in a manufacturing process. The not so secret behind the 3D walking robot is that one just has to put a battery and a little motor and let the magic happen.
The team has tested principles and have built a Hexapod with 12 hydraulic pumps and believe that the technique can still be improved to the point where they envision potential applications, including disaster relief in dangerous environments. They used a Stratasys 3D printer that releases drops of material less than half the width of a human hair, photopolymer hardened with a UV light, while the liquid portions are left alone to pump the robot’s legs and the best part about it is that very component is printed in a single step with no assembly required.
This small, six-legged robot from MIT’s CSAIL computer science lab and are composed of both liquid and solid parts. The team is eager to further develop their work and believes that future hardware advances would improve the speed of this technology.