The printable robots are developed by the group effort of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. This five-year project is titled as ‘An Expedition in Computing for Compiling Printable Programmable Machines.’ It is funded by a US $10 million grant from the NSF (National Science Foundation).
This MIT-led project could definitely help each and everyone who likes to build a robot in their living room. It is all about designing and fabricating a printed moving robot using a special printer. Moreover, it is very simple when you have some amount of knowledge in computer programming.
The researchers believe that if you want to assist anyone of your household problems, then head towards a local printing store, and choose a suitable design for your robot from a list of robotic designs. Subsequently, you can customize the selected design to solve your exact needs. Within a day, you can print, program, assemble, and check your robot’s performance.
The researchers have currently developed several prototypes by this method such as an insect-like robot, small gripper tool, and a soft robotic fish (images of these printed robots are shown in the above picture respectively). These printed robots are made of PEEK thermoplastics. You can catch the action of all those printed robotic devices in the below video.
Additionally, the project researchers have planned to focus on some categories like application programming interface, writing algorithms for controlling the fabrication of the robot, developing understandable programming language, and programmable objects that can provide automatic manufacturing of robot parts.
Overall, the aim of the printable robots is to allow an ordinary man to develop his own programmable robots in a matter of hours.