Dec.3, 2011

How does the animal kingdom provide inspiration to robotic creations using 3D printing technology? Here are 8 my favourite 3D printed robots. 

1. 3D Printed Hovering Ornithopters

A group of researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab has created a lightweight, insect-like ornithopter in a 3D printer. 

The use of 3D printing technology allows wing shapes to be replicated from those of real insects or virtually any other shape. The researchers can create the wings in minutes. This ornithopters weights only 3.89g(0.14 ounces) and has demonstrated an 85-second passively stable untethered hovering flight.

2. iFling 3D printed robot

The team at the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) has created the little iFling robot. This low-cost, self-balancing iFling 3D printed robot is now in the process of its third design interation. It has Segway shape but it seems having fun itself by picking up and throwing ping pong balls.

3. A 3D Printed Robot For Robogame’s 2011

This is Bioloid Quadruped Walking Robot

4. 3D Printed Robot Spider

This mobile spider robot developed at Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA can save lives and analyze hazardous suroundings, can be used in area difficult to reach for human. It reports the information about the surrounding back to rescue team. 

5. 3D Printed Robot Worm wriggle through rubble to quake survivors

Though I don't like worm and the shape of worm, this worm has something special. This 3D printed giant robotic worm can help searching for people in collapsed buildings. Jordan Boyle at the University of Leeds, UK has created this 2 meter long, 15 cm wide robot from tough nylon-based plastic in a 3D printer. 

(photo credit: University of Leeds, UK)

"It has an unusually small nervous system, comprising just over 300 neurons. Rather than using a central neural subcircuit as a pattern generator, it seems to generate its undulatory motion using around 100 neurons in a way largely driven by feedback from stretch sensors along its body," he says.

Via New Scientist

6. 4Track - a printed mobile robot

Thingiverse user ‘Kepler’ released his first Caterpillar Robot in April. Recently he has made a fully printable mobile robot together with Julián Marín Mato who added some electronics and wrote some code to control it with a gamepad. The robot platform is printed by 3D printer. This caterpillar track is the first step towards designing and building a printable mobile robot.

7. OBJET Robot Snake

Watch below a fully functional robotic snake printed on OBJET 3D printer.

8. Ostrich inspired robot 

And finally this ostrich inspired robot, it is faster than any existing legged robot and faster than the fastest human runner Usain Bolt. 

Named FastRunner, this robot is a project from researchers at MIT and the Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). The team has developed one full-scale leg machined using rapid prototyping techniques. The running speed can reach to 27 miles an hour. The researchers hope to see the robot reach to  40, 50 miles an hour, according to Dr. Russ Tedrake at MIT.

“The architecture takes zero energy to carry weight,” Godowski(the man behind Fast Runner's idea) says. “The legs lock and unlock, a lot like a folding table, to support what we imagine will be quite a lot of mass when the prototype is finished … really, as much as the legs will hold.”

This robot will be eventually used to deliver supplies in disaster relief efforts. Very cool!!

Posted in 3D Print Applications

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