Researchers learned to print insect robots in two hours. In the future, this will create autonomous devices without human intervention.
Researchers at the University of California at San Diego have come up with a way to 3D-print flexible insect-like robots – a quick and cheap way that doesn’t require additional hardware. Their method is to print “skeletons” – materials using flexible and thin polycarbonate sheets.
Like insects, the design of this robot involves rigidity only in some areas. This distinguishes them from soft robots, which are mainly made from materials similar to living tissues.
Printing each flexo skeleton component takes about 10 minutes, and the complete assembly of the robot takes two hours. A single part costs less than $ 1 – computing power, sensors and a battery are the most expensive parts to build.
This method will allow researchers to quickly and easily create robots, but the ultimate goal is the mass production of robots without human intervention. This can lead to small devices that can perform tasks autonomously.