Daniela Rus and the future of 3D robots

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Today for “Patents world” we enter into the fascinating world of robotic presenting Daniel Rus: professor in electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachussetts Institute of technology (MIT), CSIL’s (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratoty) director and robotics expert.

Professor Rus does robotic research, and her projects include self-assembling robots and robots that can be printed in less than an hour with little more than construction paper and off-the-shelf electronics.

“My goal is to make robots more capable, more autonomous. In other words: to bring machines to everyday life in such a way that our lives would be improved and enhanced by these machines” she affirms.

With support of the National Science Foundation, professor Rus and her team (the Distributed Robotic Lab) are developing printable robots, designed to be inexpensive and extremely useful, like the one who grabs object and might one day be useful for someone in a wheel chair.

The process for obtaining such 3D robots:

  • Robots starts as a sheet of plastic .
  • It is put in an inject printer and printed on it the circuits required to control the device.
  • With the circuits imbedded into the plastic, a laser cuts out the shape of the robot’s body, and then it’s folded into a 3D form like an origami figure, with no need of glue or tape.
  • The final step: adding motors and sensors.

“In 10 or 15 years, I think that robots will be as commonplace as smartphones, with personal robots that can help with everything from doing search-and-rescue operations to folding the laundry.” she affirms during an interview for the Boston Business Journal. And also “I envision a future where computer science can improve all aspects of our lives, from transportation and urban planning to education and health care.”

If you are interested, we provide the publication of the patent application, called “Foldable machine“.

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