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

Video: Robotic Cubes Self-Assemble

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/25/2013 1:21:03 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Elizabeth. I'm glad you brought it up because the whole concept of what could work as a secondary, stronger connection method is an interesting design--and manufacturing--problem. Pinions might be too complex and expensive, and at much smaller dimensions probably wouldn't work at all.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Elizabeth M   10/24/2013 5:03:59 AM
NO RATINGS
Ah, yes, sorry about the misunderstanding there. I didn't read the whole thread and missed that part. Just now went back and read over the comments and I see what he means. Still would be a good idea!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2013 7:03:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, after writing about sophisticated optimization software I saw demo'ed at the Altair conference, I'm even more acutely aware of how much the smallest changes can make in efficiency and manufacturability of a design, not to mention cost. So I'm not at all sure that adding extra volume to each cube that's only going to be used in only a few of them would be a good idea from a cost and price standpoint of manufacturing thousands or more. That's not done in any other high-volume product; I doubt it would be in robots. The economies of scale you seem to be thinking of are usually applicable to zillions of semiconductor chips or millions of very simple consumer products. Economies of scale don't work the same in different types of product designs.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/23/2013 2:25:44 PM
NO RATINGS
OK, point taken.  SO, thinking about it from a product design perspective you still benefit from economy of scale by designing the basic cube package with void space areas that can house the special features you mention on enhanced cubes.  Like adding bells & whistles option to a car; the base model remains the same.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2013 12:05:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, that identical-cube scenario is called a homogeneous architecture, which does have the advantage of interchangeable cubes that are easily replaced in a structure, as we discussed in this feature article on self-assembled devices: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=261138 But the researchers say that they do envision "special-purpose cubes, containing cameras, or lights, or battery packs, or other equipment, which the mobile cubes could transport." This is a heterogeneous architecture, which gives the structure, or robot, built with such modules much more potential functions and capabilities.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2013 12:04:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, Jim's description combined magnetic and pinion connections, in a 2-step connection process. Unless I misunderstood what he wrote. Right, Jim?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2013 11:53:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Rob, the researchers say in the press release that they hope to get the module size down a lot smaller, as is typical in modular robotics for self-assembly, as we discussed here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=261138

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Elizabeth M   10/23/2013 4:57:34 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with you about JimT's suggestion, Ann...it's a good one, Jim. Why should these self-assembly robots be mutually exclusive? Magnetic connections would be a great way to connect them.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/22/2013 10:28:14 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, and I think it would be 'key' that all blocks be identical; ubiquitously interchangeable like Lego Blocks, all the same size.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Rob Spiegel   10/22/2013 7:20:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, then it will certainly be interesting to see what the team comes up with next. While the cubes show a new take on movement and control, the next step may be a practical application. Perhaps integrated drive reassembly as a plant shifts from one product to the next.

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV. University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots decreased by 4% in 2012 over 2011. The biggest hit was electrical/electronics manufacturing, down by 13%; but by region, the Amerficas did well.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


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.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service