Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Nashua;56.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-07-31 07:26:22

Robots are cool, 3-D printing is cool - so why not combine them? Printable robots!

Robots are cool, as I noted this week. "Additive manufacturing" - a.k.a. 3-D printing - is also cool, as I have noted recently. So being able to print out a robot would be cool-squared.

MIT and U.Penn. just announced a National Science Foundation grant to develop ways to do just that, although they call it "compiling printable programmable machines." Mass High Tech has a story (read it here). An excerpt:

The project aims to automate the process of producing functional 3-D devices, allowing people to make robots from sheets of paper. The technology would allow anyone to identify a household problem, then head to a local printing store to select a blueprint from a library of robotic designs. Then, an easy-to-use robot would be customized to solve the problem. The whole process would take less than 24 hours, say researchers.

Here's the press release from MIT's CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab).

I've always wanted a robot that will scratch my back, and another one that will turn the compost pile. One that would get the mail from the end of my long driveway would be nice, too ...