0
Research Papers

Integrated Codesign of Printable Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Ankur Mehta

Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: mehtank@csail.mit.edu

Joseph DelPreto

Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: delpreto@csail.mit.edu

Daniela Rus

Professor
Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: rus@csail.mit.edu

Some work in this section was previously published in Ref. [3].

Manuscript received August 16, 2014; final manuscript received December 24, 2014; published online February 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Aaron M. Dollar.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 7(2), 021015 (May 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-14-1221; doi: 10.1115/1.4029496 History: Received August 16, 2014; Revised December 24, 2014; Online February 27, 2015

This work presents a system by which users can easily create printable origami-inspired robots from high-level structural specifications. Starting from a library of basic mechanical, electrical, and software building blocks, users can hierarchically assemble integrated electromechanical components and programmed mechanisms. The system compiles those designs to cogenerate complete fabricable outputs: mechanical drawings suitable for direct manufacture, wiring instructions for electronic devices, and firmware and user interface (UI) software to control the final robot autonomously or from human input. This process allows everyday users to create on-demand custom printable robots for personal use, without the requisite engineering background, design tools, and cycle time typical of the process today. This paper describes the system and its use, demonstrating its abilities and versatility through the design of several disparate robots.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Mehta, A. M., Rus, D., Mohta, K., Mulgaonkar, Y., Piccoli, M., and Kumar, V., 2013, “A Scripted Printable Quadrotor: Rapid Design and Fabrication of a Folded MAV,” 16th International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR'13), Singapore, Dec. 16–19.
Mehta, A. M., and Rus, D., 2014, “An End-to-End System for Designing Mechanical Structures for Print-and-Fold Robots,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, China, May 31–June 7, pp. 1460–1465. [CrossRef]
Mehta, A. M., DelPreto, J., Shaya, B., and Rus, D., 2014, “Cogeneration of Mechanical, Electrical, and Software Designs for Printable Robots From Structural Specifications,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2014), Chicago, IL, Sept. 14–18, pp. 2892–2897. [CrossRef]
Mavroidis, C., DeLaurentis, K. J., Won, J., and Alam, M., 2001, “Fabrication of Non-Assembly Mechanisms and Robotic Systems Using Rapid Prototyping,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 123(4), pp. 516–524. [CrossRef]
Richter, C., and Lipson, H., 2011, “Untethered Hovering Flapping Flight of a 3D-Printed Mechanical Insect,” Artif. Life, 17(2), pp. 73–86. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rossiter, J., Walters, P., and Stoimenov, B., 2009, “Printing 3D Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Soft Robotics,” Proc. SPIE, 7287, p. 72870H. [CrossRef]
Hoover, A. M., and Fearing, R. S., 2008, “Fast Scale Prototyping for Folded Millirobots,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2008), Pasadena, CA, May 19–23, pp. 886–892. [CrossRef]
Liu, Y., Boyles, J., Genzer, J., and Dickey, M., 2012, “Self-Folding of Polymer Sheets Using Local Light Absorption,” Soft Matter, 8(6), pp. 1764–1769. [CrossRef]
Shimoyama, I., Miura, H., Suzuki, K., and Ezura, Y., 1993, “Insect-Like Microrobots With External Skeletons,” Control Syst., 13(1), pp. 37–41. [CrossRef]
Brittain, S. T., Schueller, O. J. A., Wu, H., Whitesides, S., and Whitesides, G. M., 2001, “Microorigami: Fabrication of Small, Three-Dimensional, Metallic Structures,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 105(2), pp. 347–350. [CrossRef]
Hawkes, E., An, B., Benbernou, N. M., Tanaka, H., Kim, S., Demaine, E. D., Rus, D., and Wood, R. J., 2010, “Programmable Matter by Folding,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 107(28), pp. 12441–12445. [CrossRef]
Tolley, M., Felton, S. M., Miyashita, S., Xu, L., Shin, B., Zhou, M., Rus, D., and Wood, R. J., 2013, “Self-Folding Shape Memory Laminates for Automated Fabrication,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3–7, pp. 4931–4936. [CrossRef]
Onal, C. D., Wood, R. J., and Rus, D., 2011, “Towards Printable Robotics: Origami-Inspired Planar Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Mechanisms,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Shanghai, China, May 9–13, pp. 4608–4613. [CrossRef]
Birkmeyer, P., Peterson, K., and Fearing, R. S., 2009, “DASH: A Dynamic 16g Hexapedal Robot,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), St. Louis, MO, Oct. 10–15, pp. 2683–2689. [CrossRef]
Onal, C., Wood, R., and Rus, D., 2013, “An Origami-Inspired Approach to Worm Robots,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, 18(2), pp. 430–438. [CrossRef]
Tachi, T., 2010, “Origamizing Polyhedral Surfaces,” IEEE Trans. Visualiz. Compt. Graphics, 16(2), pp. 298–311. [CrossRef]
Lang, R., 2012, Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art, A K Peters/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Tama, 2014, “Pepakura Designer,” Tama Software Inc., Tokyo, accessed May 26, 2014, http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/
Parnas, D. L., 1972, “On the Criteria to be Used in Decomposing Systems Into Modules,” Commun. ACM, 15(12), pp. 1053–1058. [CrossRef]
Farritor, S., and Dubowsky, S., 2001, “On Modular Design of Field Robotic Systems,” Auton. Rob., 10(1), pp. 57–65. [CrossRef]
Hornby, G., Lipson, H., and Pollack, J., 2003, “Generative Representations for the Automated Design of Modular Physical Robots,” IEEE Trans. Rob. Autom., 19(4), pp. 703–719. [CrossRef]
Davey, J., Kwok, N., and Yim, M., 2012, “Emulating Self-Reconfigurable Robots—Design of the SMORES System,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct. 7–12, pp. 4464–4469. [CrossRef]
LEGO Group, 2014, “LEGO Mindstorms,” LEGO Group, Billund, Denmark, accessed Nov. 1, 2014, http://mindstorms.lego.com
Modular Robotics, 2012, “MOSS,” Modular Robotics Inc., Boulder, CO, accessed Nov. 1, 2014, http://www.modrobotics.com/moss
“VEX Robotics,” VEX Robotics Inc., Greenville, TX, accessed Nov. 1, 2014, http://www.vexrobotics.com
Bachrach, J., Vo, H., Richards, B., Lee, Y., Waterman, A., Avizienis, R., Wawrzynek, J., and Asanovic, K., 2012, “Chisel: Constructing Hardware in a Scala Embedded Language,” 49th ACM/EDAC/IEEE on Design Automation Conference (DAC), San Francisco, CA, June 3–7, pp. 1212–1221.
Kintel, M., 2011, “OpenSCAD, The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller,” accessed Nov. 1, 2014, http://www.openscad.org
Freese, M., Singh, S., Ozaki, F., and Matsuhira, N., 2010, “Virtual Robot Experimentation Platform V-Rep: A Versatile 3D Robot Simulator,” Simulation, Modeling, and Programming for Autonomous Robots, Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 51–62.
Ben-Kiki, O., Evans, C., and döt Net, I., 2009, “YAML,” accessed Nov. 01, 2014, http://www.yaml.org/
Mehta, A. M., Bezzo, N., An, B., Gebhard, P., Kumar, V., Lee, I., and Rus, D., 2014, “A Design Environment for the Rapid Specification and Fabrication of Printable Robots,” 14th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER'14), Marrakech/Essaouira, Morocco, June 15–18.

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

When creating a new electromechanical component, a designer needs only to be responsible for specifying the shaded blocks: which subcomponents are required from the library, how their parameters and interfaces are constrained, and what parameters and connections to expose to higher designs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

A library of modular components enables robotic design to be reduced to hierarchical composition of predesigned elements. The starred components are basic building blocks defined from scripts by experts; the rest have been assembled within the design system and added to the library.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Outputs generated from the code in Listing 1: (a) face-edge graph representation of a beam geometry, (b) generated drawing to be sent to a 2D cutter, and (c) generated 3D solid model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Outputs generated from the YAML definition in Listing 2: (a) component-connection graph representation of a finger design hierarchy, (b) generated drawing to be sent to a 2D cutter, and (c) generated 3D solid model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Each electrical module features connections for an upstream and downstream module as well as three ports for connecting devices such as servos, LEDs, or digital and analog sensors. These modules are designed to be plug-and-play and do not require reprogramming based upon location or connected devices.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Each device is automatically assigned a virtual pin number. Users can then control the robot using the virtual pin numbers so that knowledge of the actual chain configuration is not required.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

An intuitive connection of integrated components simultaneously produces a collection of outputs for immediate fabrication, producing designs across all required subsystems

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

The Seg, a two-wheeled mobile robot, was compiled from modular electromechanical components. Electrical components are directly connected to the brain using the modular software interface.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Each node on this tree represents a component in the design of the two-wheeled robot, generated solely by composing its child nodes. The leaf nodes were design by expert designers, but every higher level of the design can be assembled from its children by a casual user.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Complete mechanical, electrical, and software subsystem designs for an autonomous line-following wheeled robot are generated from a functional description of the logical flow of information from a light sensor to the wheels

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

The design of the walking robot is similar to that of the Seg, with the addition of mechanical leg and flexure components. The higher-level brain and motor components, shaded in the diagram, can be reused from the earlier design.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

A complex hexapod walker can be generated adapting existing library elements generated from past designs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

A robotic manipulator arm was generated by serially connecting integrated actuated hinge and gripper modules

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

The design tree for the gripper arm shows how a complex electromechanical device can be hierarchically assembled from simpler mechanisms. The integrated brain and servo modules are adapted from the earlier robots with slight modifications to enable daisy chained electronic modules, and the servo module is shared between the hinge and gripper mechanisms.

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In