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First-ever 3-D printed robots made of both solids and liquids

One reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks.But if humans and robots can’t do the trick, what about 3-D printers?In a new paper, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) present the first-ever technique for 3-D printing robots that involves printing solid and liquid materials at the same time.The new method allows the team to automatically 3-D print dynamic robots in a single step, with no assembly required, using a commercially-available 3-D printer.

Origami That Folds Itself

CSAIL researchers Daniela Rus and Erik Demaine, in partnership with Harvard University's Robert Wood, have developed a small resin-fiberglass sheet programmed to fold itself into three-dimensional shapes.

At this point, the object can only take on two shapes—but it's a major development in the burgeoning field of computational origami. And if you can teach a flat sheet to form itself into a multitude three-dimensional shape, the applications are endless. Read more about the research here, or check out the video below to watch the sheet in action.

Articles

Origami That Folds Itself

CSAIL researchers Daniela Rus and Erik Demaine, in partnership with Harvard University's Robert Wood, have developed a small resin-fiberglass sheet programmed to fold itself into three-dimensional shapes.

At this point, the object can only take on two shapes—but it's a major development in the burgeoning field of computational origami. And if you can teach a flat sheet to form itself into a multitude three-dimensional shape, the applications are endless. Read more about the research here, or check out the video below to watch the sheet in action.

Videos

First-ever 3-D printed robots made of both solids and liquids

One reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks.But if humans and robots can’t do the trick, what about 3-D printers?In a new paper, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) present the first-ever technique for 3-D printing robots that involves printing solid and liquid materials at the same time.The new method allows the team to automatically 3-D print dynamic robots in a single step, with no assembly required, using a commercially-available 3-D printer.