Design Your Own Robot (Carefully)

Thanks to Carnegie Mellon University roboticists and researchers, you can use a simplified interactive design tool that lets you design and make your own customized legged or wheeled robot, using a mix of 3D-printed parts and off-the-shelf components.


(Thank you, CMU, for robot making software video)

We present a computational design system that allows novices and experts alike to easily create custom robotic devices using modular electromechanical components. The core of our work consists of a design abstraction that models the way in which these components can be combined to form complex robotic systems. We use this abstraction to develop a visual design environment that enables an intuitive exploration of the space of robots that can be created using a given set of actuators, mounting brackets and 3d-printable components. Our computational system also provides support for design auto-completion operations, which further simplifies the task of creating robotic devices. Once robot designs are finished, they can be tested in physical simulations and iteratively improved until they meet the individual needs of their users. We demonstrate the versatility of our computational design system by creating an assortment of legged and wheeled robotic devices. To test the physical feasibility of our designs, we fabricate a wheeled device equipped with a 5-DOF arm and a quadrupedal robot.

Science fiction writers have lovingly presented the robot-making hobbyist (along with dedicated researchers). Just be careful, DIYers, what you design.

He said, "The Robot Mother! That's what I made - a duplicate of the Robot Mother. I didn't realize it, but I was patiently building the most dangerous thing in creation, a thing that is a terrible menace because it shares with mankind the ability to propagate. Thank Heaven we stopped it in time!" (Read more about the Robot mother)

Via Computational Abstractions for Interactive Design of Robotic Devices. (in preparation) and KurzweilAI.

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