DailyDirt: Rise Of Flexible Robots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Robot researchers often look to biology for inspiration because nature has evolved some pretty efficient means of locomotion and self-assembly. The idea of a robot that has a stiff metal body is being replaced by more lightweight, flexible and organic designs and materials. Robot parts made from various polymers could lead to some interesting biomimicry. Here are just a few examples. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 6:16pm

    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    " Robot parts that can be 3D printed and incorporate self-assembling components could be the building blocks of re-configurable or self-replicating machines. Machines making machines? How perverse!

    Have these people never watched Stargate SG1?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    mischab1, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 9:21am

    That first robot is not self-assembling, it already has all of its parts. It just reconfigures itself from flat to 3-dimensional and walking. The only reason it is worth mentioning is that its body is made out of paper and polystyrene plastic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 12th, 2014 @ 9:25am


    Huh? How is that not self-assembling?

    "it already has all of its parts"

    It's "self-assembling", not "self-manufacturing".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Michael, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re:

    It looks less self-assembling and more self-folding. It transforms from a flat sheet into a walking robot - and it is pretty interesting, but it isn't a pile a pieces that assembles itself. I usually take assembly as pieces that aren't connected getting connected.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 12th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, yes, this is an extremely low-tech form of self-assembling. However, the term "self-assembling" for what should more properly be called "self-reconfiguring" has a long history (in chemistry) that predates applying the notion to robotics. Using the term for this sort of machine is not technically incorrect, but it is undeniably chosen for its sex appeal in this case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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