…A team of researchers at Oslo University’s Department of Informatics has developed a category of robots that, through simulation programs and 3D printing, adapt to unforeseen obstacles. In turn, these self-improving robots can enter hazardous areas and perform tasks in situations too extreme for human involvement, such as radioactive sites, deep mines, or even distant planets.
The real-world uses for these robots are vast. One possible application, as described ay Associate Professor Kyrre Glette, imagines a robot entering a wrecked power plant and stumbling upon an unforeseen staircase. The robot is able to take a photograph, analyze the situation, and, using its integrated 3D printer, produce a new part, or even a new robot, that can negotiate the stairs. The entire scenario plays out without human interaction and without endangering or delaying the mission.
…However, the transition from simulated design to 3D printed robot is not perfect. The chief obstacle faced by the Informatics team thus far has been closing the so called “reality gap” between what the simulated robots can accomplish, versus their performance in the laboratory.
“Once the robots have been printed, their real-world functionalities quite often prove to be different from those of the simulated versions,” explains researcher Mats Høvin, “We are therefore studying how the robots deteriorate from simulation to laboratory stage.”
In order to close this gap and to create robots that are as good as, or even better than their simulated counterparts, researchers have set up obstacle courses to test how their robots can self-teach and self-adapt when confronted with new obstacles….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.