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MIT Wants You To Print Your Own Paper Robots

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the printer-helper dept.

Robotics 34

MrSeb writes "According to researchers at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, one day in the not too distant future you'll be able to design, print and build your own robot. 'Our vision is to develop an end-to-end process; specifically, a compiler for building physical machines that starts with a high level of specification of function, and delivers a programmable machine for that function using simple printing processes,' MIT Professor Daniela Rus says. The team points to the high expense currently to design and produce functioning robots. By simplifying the process, it would bring robotics to a much wider audience. With an automated process, more time could be spent on teaching the intricacies of robotics or getting to the task at hand rather than the laborious process of building the robot itself. Two paper prototypes have been built so far: an insect-like robot for exploring dangerous areas, and a gripper device for the handicapped."

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PLAN (1)

smc170 (2609895) | about 2 years ago | (#39579559)

Make a paper robot, Then program said robot to make robots program the robot making robot to program other robots to make more robots Money!

"in the not too distant future" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39579591)

Can I expect to be using this technology next Sunday?

Attention robot readers: (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#39579669)

Greetings gentlemen and lady.

Recently, it has come to my attention that the alleged Italian islamocommunist conspiracy was a figment of my overactive imagination.

Many of you know that I fervently proclaimed and believed in the nefarious workings of a sinister Italian islamocommunist conspiracy that was remotely controlling the thoughts of Americans from a Mexican moon-base. However, ithascometo my attention that there is, in fact, no sinister Italian islamocommunist conspiracy remotely controlling the thoughts of Americans from a Mexican moon-base.

I deeply and sincerely apologize to all the readers of Slashdort for misleading you about this. Again, let me be absolutely clear: there is not, nor hasthere ever been, a sinister Italian islamocommunist conspiracy remotely controlling the thoughts of Americans from a Mexican moon-base.

On the subject of TFA, letmejust say that paper is a myth and peoplewho believe in "paper" are probably insane, or are being controlled by a sinister Belgian Islamocommunist cabal headquartered in a bunker five miles under Des Moines, IA. Don't be fooled. There is no such thing as paper, folks! It's all in your head -- free your mind!!!!

Man (3, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39579689)

MIT has been announcing some rather "dreamy" ideas recently

paper robots
self sculpting sand
See though 3D computers
No more Disabilities in 50 years (so yea everyone with a disability now will magicly vanish in 50 years, right?)

just to name a few, has anyone there actually tried this stuff? Almost all of it starts with "our vision", starting to sound like a junk patent mill to me

Re:Man (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#39579729)

"No more Disabilities in 50 years (so yea everyone with a disability now will magicly vanish in 50 years, right?)" <-- The Germans almost pulled this off in the 1940's

Re:Man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39579757)

It's what young kids in school do. Always has been.

Some of the ideas will pan out, most will not.

Re:Man (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39580139)

These are not young kids, they are functional adults going to one of the best technical universities in the world

Re:Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39580799)

Anyone under 25 is a young stupid kid, period. No matter what school or background they come from, they lack experience.

Re:Man (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#39580901)

Anyone under 25 is a young stupid kid, period. No matter what school or background they come from, they lack experience.

Speak for yourself, by about 22 I was a rational adult - still drowning in hormones, but that applies to some men in their 60s, too.

Just because you and all your friends were idiots until 26 doesn't make it true for the rest of the world. I see most of the world as being controlled by people 55 and up, with a few rare exceptions where rich old farts have turned their children loose with some power. I think the younger generation could actually do better in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to preparing for the distant future.

35 minimum is a good rule for President, but from 50 up, they should start getting handicapped, like need to get their age in percentage of the popular vote to win against any opponent less than 50 years old.

Re:Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39586181)

Everyone is over simplifying here. I too think of 20-year-olds as kids, but that doesn't mean they aren't also rational adults. I work (and mentor) some of the smartest most rational young scientists and you know, they're still massively naive. I really doubt at 22 years old, you had the knowledge and experience you have at twice that age. Unless you just stagnated from 22 on, which is very sad.

MIT recruits some of the most technically accomplished young minds, but they are also some of the most naive when it comes to things outside of technology and MIT does a great job of sheltering them from problems that normal adults face. I think this is a wonderful thing and it's silly to ignore it. Naive even.

Re:Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39579875)

Well at least the 'printable' robot is a bit more realistic/achievable in the near term. A few modifications to the DIY 3d printer scene such the ability to switch print heads (extrude plastic, use pen containing metalic ink, and gripper to place electronic parts) would
make this doable from a single machine. Adding a robotic arm to assemble/snap the pieces together and/or use the metalic ink pen to touch-up the final electronic connections shouldn't be as hard as the print head modifications.
The modifications mentioned above are doable (both cost and technical challenges) if one has the time, patience and technical expertise (or at least willing to pitch in to help out in the DIY 3d printer scene).

Re:Man (2)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#39587475)

It occurs to me that one might be able to create 3d printer mass-adoption *without* a special printer -- just special paper. Create a water-soluble printer paper (except the edges) that reacts to common ink solvents by becoming insoluble, and which has a thin layer of adhesive (potentially water activated, potentially heat activated, or other possibilities) on one side. Open your model as a many-page PDF, with each page being a sequential cross-section. Print. Clamp. Activate adhesive and soak. Viola, 3d part, no special printer (and with a pretty fine layer-resolution, too). The "paper" doesn't have to be cellulosic (and the solvent doesn't have to be water), so long as everything can follow the basic priciples laid out above and that the "paper" can be fed into the printer. The cost to print a part could be reduced if printer manufacturers offered special cheap "solvent-only" cartridges (if this became popular, I'm sure they would -- it'd be a whole new market for them, and any printer-maker to offer such cartridges would have a big marketing advantage for their printers).

Re:Man (2)

Pence128 (1389345) | about 2 years ago | (#39581335)

No more Disabilities in 50 years

If you limited it to physical disabilities and mostly in first world countries, I could see that. Even if you still consider someone with say, a permanently attached prosthetic arm which is equal to or greater than a human one by any conceivable metric still "disabled," 50 years is in the realm of just cloning a new one and grafting it on.

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39579691)

welcome our new paper robot overlords.

Infrastructure for Terraforming (1)

nigelvthomas (908973) | about 2 years ago | (#39580689)

So all you'd need is a bunch of super industrial robot printers and a robot maintenance infrastructure to supply ingredients to run major mining on the moon or mars. Advanced concepts boiled down to bare core like software programming that's built on infrastructure like printable robots on an industrial scale is really a leap forward. Congrats to MIT for the concept; next step is contests so programmers can compete for best in show for best robot printers and best robot printing applications.

nothing wrong could come out of this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39580843)

...says the paper robots being printed by the masses.

not what Iike was imagining (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 2 years ago | (#39581145)

When I first read, in my mind, I wanted to see a laser printer that uses conductive toner to create entire circuits on the paper itself. The image they show doesn't looking like it is saving much. It is simply a program for origami. That's there dreams? Really?

Does the world really need... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39581179)

another disposable commodity? Robots are cool but I value forests as well.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39582523)

Scoff if you like, but I, for one, welcome our new paper robotic...

Aw, never mind. (Crumples up paper robot and throws it in waste basket.)

Oblig. Futurama quote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39582537)

Fry: Man, I wish we had a robot to do stuff!

Bender (a robot): I know, right?

(Season 6, Episode 15, Benderama)

Rus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39583635)

Did anyone else think of Rodents of Unusual Size when reading her name?

For those who don't get the reference Princess Bride.

Robot Uprisings Manageable with Scissors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39587169)

At least when the robots rise up against humanity, we'll be easily able to put down the revolt with our own arsenal of scissors.

Unless the robots are able to use their own mastery over rocks as a weapon, because that would defeat our scissors.

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