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Automated Fabrication of Foldable Robots Using Thick Materials

Chapter
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics book series (SPAR, volume 2)

Abstract

Designing complex machines such as robots often requires multiple iterations of design and prototyping. Folding has recently emerged as a method to both simplify fabrication and accelerate assembly of such machines. However, the robots so far produced by folding have often been made of thin, flexible materials that limit their size and strength. We introduce a folding-based fabrication process that uses thick materials layered with flexible film to enable folding while maintaining high stiffness in the folded structure. We use this process to fabricate multiple solid bodies, as well as two hexapods, one of which can carry up to 2.50 kg payloads. Each folded structure took less than 3 h to construct. Our results indicate that folding using thick materials can be a viable method for rapidly fabricating and prototyping larger and sturdier robots.

Keywords

Hexapod Flexible Films Folding Pattern Robot Body Edge Joining 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Support for this project has been provided in part by NSF Grant Nos. 1240383 and 1138967, and by the DoD through the NDSEG Fellowship Program. We are grateful. We would also like to thank John Romanishin and Joseph DelPreto for helpful discussions, and Bianca Homberg for assistance in fabricating the silicone feet.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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