3D printing technology has become more and more affordable for just about everyone, and this augurs well for the industry overall as it means that we are now seeing a greater adoption base among users, who will then come up with even more creative ways of churning out new models and the like. Researchers over at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have come up with a new 3D printing process which is able to develop robots.
What makes this process out of the ordinary is the fact that these robots are fully functional right from the moment in which they are finished printing. This new process has been streamlined, as the robot’s solid and liquid hydraulic parts were developed in a single step.
CSAIL Director Daniela Rus, who oversaw the project, shared, “Our approach, which we call ‘printable hydraulics,’ is a step towards the rapid fabrication of functional machines. 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 printer.” Pretty scary, huh, to have a robot that can walk right out of the assembly line just like that.
In order to model this significant single-step process, the research team churned out a small six-legged robot which can crawl using the dozen integrated hydraulic pumps within its body.