A new development in robotics not only allow robots are programmable to assign all kinds of tasks: the material they own are made can also be programmed to suit all conditions and environments.
A group of researchers from MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory ) has developed the so – called “Programmable Viscoelastic Material ” (PVM), a type of material used in 3D printers and achieves “robots safer, robust and accurate in their movements”.
A material that meets the needs
In the CSAIL they believe that this method could the hardness of the drones used, but also other solutions like our phones, helmets that protect us or shoes that we use in everyday life. This technique allows users to program how the material behaves in a 3D printed object to fit the exact levels of hardness and elasticity needed at all times.
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The director of this baboratorio, Daniela Rus, explained that would allow for example create skins absorbing the impact on robots, can reduce the amount of energy transferred when they fall to the ground by 250%. This reduction, “explained Rus,” can prevent the rotor of a drone break and also that a sensor is broken by falling to the ground”.
Such material could also be very helpful in landing maneuvers, since that protection against the impact on their tests allow a robot to fall so four times more accurate. The idea: applying the material to drones as those who want to use Amazon and Google for their new projects messaging.
The material is similar to that used as a buffer in all kinds of scenarios, visco -elastic and using materials such as rubber or plastic means that it can change the amount of solids and liquids that make up. To develop programmable materials can be used 3D printers depositing materials with different mechanical properties in a design, and that solves the use of such complex combinations in traditional manufacturing processes.