Robots made of 3D printed materials

Robots made of 3D printed materials
Highlights

 In a first, MIT scientists have 3D printed a tiny six-legged robot using a new technique that involves printing solid and liquid materials at the same time. The new method allows the team to automatically 3D print dynamic robots in a single step, with no assembly required, using a commercially-available 3D printer. 

Boston: In a first, MIT scientists have 3D printed a tiny six-legged robot using a new technique that involves printing solid and liquid materials at the same time. The new method allows the team to automatically 3D print dynamic robots in a single step, with no assembly required, using a commercially-available 3D printer.

"Our approach, which we call 'printable hydraulics,' is a step towards the rapid fabrication of functional machines," said Daniela Rus, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US. "All you have to do is stick in a battery and motor, and you have a robot that can practically walk right out of the printer," said Rus.

Researchers 3D printed a tiny six-legged robot that can crawl via 12 hydraulic pumps embedded within its body. Printing liquids is a messy process, which means that most approaches require an additional post-printing step such as melting it away or having a human manually scrape it clean.

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