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 2/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 5:17:07 PM
NO RATINGS
I think you're right, Rob. And this particular R&D team is quite talented and persistent.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 5:15:11 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, isn't this fun? I thin k Jim's suggestion for how magnetic connections can be amplified with other types is interesting.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 4:58:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, interesting point about cost in your earlier post. One thing that will affect cost is whether all of the cubes are identical, so can take advantage of economies of scale in production, or some of them have specialized functions, which will of course obviate same. This basic and simple difference is a major point in robotic self-assemby.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/22/2013 1:20:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Right – only a PoC, but a very well-engineered and demonstrated PoC. I can visualize the magnets mounted on pinion-driven brackets, and after initial magnetic connection, a pinion drive physically engaged the magnetic pins into recess on the mating block. Lots of very cool potential on this idea, as autonomous building blocks.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
Ann R. Thryft   10/22/2013 10:58:58 AM
NO RATINGS
Jim, the bonds are magnetic, so they're not all that strong. This is a proof of concept, barely even a prototype. Notice how the researchers say that bridge repair and structures built with them would be temporary. I'm really interested to see what other means of fastening/connecting can be applied.



JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/21/2013 11:00:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Of course, economical price is less important for emergency, disaster & recovery, but to truly become commercially viable, each block cost will have to be "reasonably" priced.  Considering that in its present configuration that each block contains a flywheel, brake, brushless motor, PCB with controller, modem and a battery, they are still quite costly from a pure BOM standpoint, but certainly low-priced compared to other robots today.  Maybe if 1,000's were used to collectively "build a bridge" as speculated, there could be some advancement in the way they share components as a group.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/21/2013 10:51:04 PM
NO RATINGS
That is fascinating.  Imagine the future where they might air-drop several thousand of these over an earthquake site, and watch them autonomously build a bridge over rushing flood water. I didn't catch any details on the strength of the elements-to-element bond, in that type of scenario where overall group strength, as a finished colony of blocks into a single structure, would be critical.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Rob Spiegel   10/21/2013 4:10:19 PM
NO RATINGS
This could be an odd little breakthrough, Ann. While it looks toy-like, the idea of parts coalescing could be the beginning of new robotic applications.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Imaginative
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:11:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Greg, for that play on words! It gave me a chuckle.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:11:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Well, yes and no, Chuck. Transformers re-configure themselves. These cubes self-assemble first and then reconfigure themselves. In robotics, these are considered different problems to solve, mechanically and algorithmically.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
Here are new recycled materials, new recycling machines, and other news about recycling 3D printed materials we've put together in one place.
A composite based on a high-performance PEEK-like resin we told you about two years ago when it was still in R&D has now been licensed by the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for commercial manufacturing.
Hospital-acquired infections and more home use of medical devices are shaking up device design, bringing more plastics into increasingly complex designs.
Microsoft, HP, Dassault, and other industry heavyweights in 3D printing have launched a new 3DP file format, 3MF. The consortium says the spec will more fully describe a 3D model and will be interoperable with multiple applications, platforms, services, and printers.
Design News Webinar Series
5/21/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/11/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.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.
Jun 8 - 12, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Filters
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


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 Course June 2nd-4th:
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service