Looking ahead: Printed robots that assemble themselves (with a bit of heat)

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three d robot printing
This story describes how MIT researchers have developed self-assembling 3-D printed robots.
three d robot printing
This story describes how MIT researchers have developed self-assembling 3-D printed robots.

This stuff stretches beyond science fiction fantasy — MIT researches have developed three-dimensional robots that self-assemble when, it seems, they are popped into an oven.

The idea of “printing” living robots takes the whole extension computer-aided design and Building Information Modelling to entirely new levels. I’ve already reported about early work in augmented reality and “contour crafting — that is using three-dimensional printing techniques to construct actual buildings (the concrete is poured in layers, much like smaller-scale 3-D printers).

Obviously, it will be a while before entire buildings are “printed” and assembled with heated devices — and even the tools and equipment to build the structures. However, these concepts are migrating from fantasy to reality at a rather rapid rate so maybe the “a while” won’t be that long, after all.

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