Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Folding robots interest to the space sector

The team of researchers from MIT and Harvard University used a technique of laser cutting and inexpensive materials (copper, paper, shape memory polymer) to design this prototype which cost much more $ 100 (about 74 euros). © MIT-Harvard University , YouTube

Folding robots interest to the space sector

The composite is made ​​with five layers of materials. The plant is a copper foil which has been etched to laser to form the network of electrical connectors that connects the motors, resistors, and the microcontroller Batteries. This copper portion is sandwiched between two paper sheets themselves covered by two outer layers of a polymeric shape memory which will bend at predetermined angles, when heated. Currently, the prototype works independently with a timer that handles different sequences. But the researchers say that it is possible to pair with sensors that could trigger the transformation, for example, at a certain temperature or pressure.

Furthermore, the method of manufacture of the robot based on the laser engraving is inexpensive. The chassis of the prototype has cost, in fact, that 20 dollars (15 euros) and all incorporating motors, electronics and batteries does not exceed 100 dollars (74 euros). This technique opens up very interesting possibilities, especially in space. One of the researchers involved in the project says that we can consider robots or satellites that could be grouped in a flat container and, once it reaches its destination is d├ęplierait to assemble and complete their mission. One can also imagine robots backpack, easy to carry to work on sites inaccessible. And why not, in the more distant future, domestic robots that would fall under furniture or in a closet waiting to be called upon to perform a task? To be continued ...

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