This 3D Printed Robot Can Flatten Itself

    August 2, 2013

What’s up with 3D printed robots being based on bugs? Our last 3D printed robot was a creepy spider, and now the University of California, Berkeley has created a 3D printed insect robot that can flatten itself to fit under doors.

In the UC Berkeley Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, four men have created what they call the STAR, or Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot. As its name implies, the tiny robot can sprawl itself out to an almost flat shape to fit into tight spaces. When it’s not crawling, the robot can run at speeds of up to 5.2m/s.

Here it is in action:

So, where do 3D printers fit into all of this? The team at Berkeley says that everything except for the electronics in the robot were created on a ProJet 3000 3D printer. The team chose 3D printing for the robot’s manufacturing because of its ease of use and quick production time. In fact, they can go from the printed parts to a fully operational robot in about 30 minutes.

Let’s hope the big guys like Atlas or Petman never find out about 3D printing. Humanity would rue the day that robots found out how to make other robots in less than 30 minutes.

[h/t: 3ders]