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HomeRoboticsVine-inspired FiloBot "rising" robotic 3D-prints its personal physique

Vine-inspired FiloBot “rising” robotic 3D-prints its personal physique

With regards to duties just like the exploration of unstructured environments, conventional robots could also be stymied by obstacles akin to uncrossable gaps. That is the place the FiloBot is available in, because it grows like a self-supporting vine.

Developed by scientists on the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Expertise), the FiloBot is ready to develop in the direction of mild sources and away from the pull of gravity (though it might even be set as much as do the other) not in contrast to the tendrils of a climbing plant.

The machine has a conical head on the prime, an influence supply/base station on the backside, and a stem-like physique in between. That physique will get longer and longer because the robotic grows … however how does it develop?

Nicely, the FiloBot is constantly pulling a filament of 3D-printing thermoplastic up from a spool in its base station, into its head. That filament passes via a heated extruder within the head, which is slowly rotating relative to the physique. On this method, the robotic 3D-prints its personal physique in successive coiled layers of molten plastic, which bond collectively as they cool.

A diagram of the FiloBot's head
A diagram of the FiloBot’s head

Del Dottore et al., Sci. Robotic. 9, eadi5908 (2024)

That mentioned, the physique is not printed in a uniform style. In response to mild sensors, a gyroscope and different head-integrated electronics, the temperature, orientation and deposition pace of the plastic is constantly diversified. On this means, the FiloBot is ready to management the route by which its physique grows, all the time heading towards the sunshine and away from the bottom.

The FiloBot takes to the trees
The FiloBot takes to the bushes

Del Dottore et al., Sci. Robotic. 9, eadi5908 (2024)

What’s extra, the robotic routinely winds round vertical helps once they’re current (similar to a vine winds round a trellis), permitting it to place much less time and power into rising a robust physique when energy is not wanted. When no adjoining help surfaces are detected, nevertheless – in different phrases, when the top has reached an open house – the physique is grown stiff and robust, so it might probably help itself.

A paper on the analysis, which was led by Emanuela Del Dottore, was not too long ago revealed within the journal Science Robotics. You’ll be able to see the FiloBot in time-lapse rising motion, within the video beneath.

FiloBot self-3D-printed, vine-inspired, “rising” robotic

Supply: American Affiliation for the Development of Science through EurekAlert



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