HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/24/2013 11:37:25 AM
NO RATINGS
78RPM and Ralphy Boy thanks for the input about how this might work. From everything I read, it appears that the Tresselator platform is the first step, and the spider bots work off of that.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/19/2013 2:32:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Ralphy Boy, I hope you are right about this construction method possibly leveraging greater presence in space.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/19/2013 2:23:55 PM
NO RATINGS
GTOlover, I think you're right. I amuses me, and sometimes amazes me, how much of what we end up doing in technology comes from ideas in sci-fi.

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ralphy Boy   9/18/2013 8:17:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Hey 78RPM...

Point well taken, I did miss some of what you meant. Plus, I cut my teeth dancing the Twist so it's a good reference.

We have a 20 year old 3 axis laser welder that has the ability to do the computational gymnastics to make amazingly fine pulse rate/feed rate adjustments so as to maintain weld integrity in tight corners (without overshooting the corner or piling up pulses). This requires the computer to look ahead; not complex at all by today's standards.

If two or three spiders and tugs work together, and especially if the printing head and its movements and output are accounted for well in advance and isolated mathematically from the spider's mass, I see no reason that the same type of computations cannot be used to make turns. Or, as you stated... disengage... then reposition when single piece printing is impossible. But even this move is subject to the same brittleness issues.

In order to have a zero force extrusion between the spider and the previously printed parts of a structure the dance will have to be darn near perfect... This stuff I'm talking about ups that a notch, but not two.

The reason I don't believe that the spiders will crawl along the threads to return to base fits with your thoughts about breaking the structure through torquing. Plus, any unnecessary contact would be very risky.

The mother-ship word may have been a poor choice of making what I still think is a valid point - unless these are to be single ship/spider only missions some other small ship may in the end be acting as a central control/supply and maybe even a repair base.

Also, I think a stabilized plant would be great, but that seems to be a huge jump up from what these are intended to be, and to cost. Individual stabilization of and control of the spiders kind'a goes without saying...

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: New spaceman is a robot
78RPM   9/18/2013 6:09:27 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ralphy Boy, Hmm, you might have missed what I was trying to say. I think jhankwitz has a pretty good handle on a solution to the problem I presented. Let me illustrate: Place a small motor on your desk and apply power. That thing will Jump and Twist like Chubby Checker (oops, giving away my age). And you're not even in zero g. Motors also act like gyroscopes which exhibit a property called precession. Remember the 8th grade science experiment where you stand on a lazy Susan turntable while holding a wheel on an axle in your hands. Another student spins the axle as fast as they can. Then you tilt the axle and -- wheee, you go rotating.

If a relatively massive robot is making a spidery thin filament and tries to change orientation or even move an arm (think Newton's laws of motion) the reaction could snap the tiny filament. Tethered to a mother ship? That defeats the idea of putting minimal hardware into space. A possible solution is just to pack all the material you need into a print cartridge attached to the robot. Then, as jhankwitz suggests, have massive (or better, small very rapidly spinning) flywheels to keep things steady while motors and arms are working. If the robot needs to turn, it should disengage contact and use its vision sensors to reposition.  Of course, another solution is to develop materials that expand and shrink like muscles to eliminate torque.

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ralphy Boy   9/18/2013 5:50:28 PM
NO RATINGS
78RPM 

I would imagine that the resupply would not require the spider like printing head to do anything. Think of the way roads are laid... The Paver just stays on the path and lays asphalt, while dumps trucks run back and forth bringing more material.

Those dumpers (or whatever they end up being called, Tenders perhaps) could also help adjust the slight movements of the construction, or there could be Tugs that are dedicated to that job if it is necessary. Most of these would probable be self propelled or tethered to a mother ship.

It is possible that this construction method may eventually lead to an unexpected leap forward in human space presence in space... so long as we don't abandon it just as it gets going.

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: New spaceman is a robot
GTOlover   9/18/2013 4:20:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann - Chuck,

Seems that the idea of building spacecraft in orbital platforms, per Star Trek and others, is moving closer to a reality. Imagine seeing Kirk flip open a communicator. Not possible. Then look at modern cellphones. Now we are talking aboout "printing" large kilometer long space structures!!!

Um, print me some Sovereign class star ships?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2013 11:51:25 AM
NO RATINGS
I won't say any more except to agree with you. But...more will be revealed, as the prequel's end leaves things open for a sequel to the prequel.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Rob Spiegel   9/18/2013 11:43:43 AM
NO RATINGS
As I think about it Ann, it could be the robotic aspects of the creature's appearance and movements may have to do with how the alien was created by the moviemakers.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New spaceman is a robot
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2013 11:39:57 AM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I won't spoil it for you, but let's say those apparently robotic aspects are not explained or shown when the alien's origins are revealed. Whether that aspect will be added later somehow, who knows?

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
After a year or so of missteps, false starts, retractions, and postponements, inkjet office printer giant Hewlett-Packard has finally revealed just what it plans to do in 3D printing.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 17 - 21, Analog Design for the Digital World
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service