Nov 9, 2016 | By Benedict

Dtto, a modular 3D printed robot designed by Alberto Molina Perez, has scooped the 2016 Hackaday Prize. Perez, who will receive a grand prize of $150,000, says the 3D printed robot could be used in search and rescue operations.

Those who remember Dtto from our June 11 article might have had a good feeling about the 3D printed robot from the start. A snake-like bot that is able to assemble itself by identifying its component modules, Dtto possessed all the hallmarks of a contest prizewinner, including versatility, ingenuity, and style. It now appears that Hackaday staff hold the same opinion, as the unique modular robot has just scooped the highest award in the website’s annual Hackaday Prize competition.

The unusual robot, whose individual modules are each 3D printed, can be assembled in various forms depending on the task at hand. Depending on its configuration, the robot can roll as if on wheels, crawl with various gaits, or even slither like a snake. This high level of adaptability means the 3D printed robot can be deployed in various situations and on differing kinds of terrain, making it suitable for tasks like search and rescue.

One of the most interesting features of Dtto, and perhaps one that the Hackaday judges were most impressed with, is its self-assembling nature. Thanks to magnetic couplers and special sensors, individual Dtto models are able to recognize one another and autonomously snap together, forming a complete whole. According to Perez, this feature was inspired by ant colonies, in which many individuals collaborate to act as a single intelligence.

Depending on the task assigned to it, Dtto can be equipped with a thermal camera, microphone, and/or speakers, since most of the electronics and motors in the 3D printed robot fit into just half of its body. This makes the robot suitable for all kinds of applications, beyond search and rescue. Electronically, Dtto depends upon an Arduino Nano, a Bluetooth chip, and an NRF2401+ radio transceiver. Its hinges are operated by two SG92R Tower Pro servos, while its coupling mechanisms are operated by three Tower Pro SG90 micro servos.

As part of the prize, Dtto and creator Perez will receive a cash prize of $150,000, in addition to a residency at the Supplyframe Design Lab in Pasadena, CA.

Specifications and components of each 3D printed Dtto module:

  • Dimensions: 64 x 64 x 130 mm
  • Weight: ~210g
  • 2 servos TowerPro SG92R for main movement (2.5kg/cm)
  • 3 servos TowerPro SG90 for coupling mechanism (1.8kg/cm)
  • 24 Alignment magnets (4x3 neodymium disc)
  • 1 Arduino Nano v3.0
  • 1 Bluetooth HC-06
  • 1 RF. NRF2401+
  • 1 WS2812 LED RGB



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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