WASHINGTON (TIP): Researchers have developed a tool that can let even a novice build a customised 3D-printed walking robot. The user can specify the shape, size and number of legs for the robotic creature, using intuitive editing tools to interactively explore design alternatives. The system developed by Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University also ensures that the resulting design is capable of moving as desired and not falling down; it even enables the user to alter the creature’s gait as desired.
“Designing a functioning robot remains a difficult challenge that requires an experienced engineer,” said Markus Gross, vice president at Disney Research. “Our new design system can bridge this gap,” said Gross. The design interface features two viewports—one that enables editing of the robot’s structure and motion and a second that displays how those changes would likely alter its behaviour.