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The idea behind interactive Robogami
is that we want to make robots easier to customize
and easier to create for people who are not necessarily trained
in engineering design.
And so we've basically designed the system
which allows people to do this design very intuitively.
There are two main ideas behind it.
One is easy fabrication, and one is
being able to virtually verify that your robot will
work once it's been fabricated.
On the fabrication side, we've been
using 3D printing and folding techniques in order
to make the fabrication very easy.
And on the functionality side, we've
incorporated simulations in order
to make sure that the robot can actually walk and can actually
perform tasks.
3D printing has a lot of advantages.
You can print very complex structures.
They're very rigid.
Whereas in 2D fabrication, it's very fast
and you can create basically lightweight but still strong
structures.
We took the advantage of both of them
and we decided to 3D print 2D patterns.
So this allowed us to get very rapid fabrication
of stiff structures that are still lightweight.
So designing a robot is challenging
because there are many aspects that must be designed.
You have the 3D shape, the motion, the electronics,
the control software.
So how do you allow a casual user of any skill level
to design all of these aspects at the same time
to create a robot that will solve the user's task?
Using our system, users can create a robot body
by simply mixing and matching parts from an existing catalog.
And in the same way, the user designs a motion for the robot
by selecting from a list of suggestions
and modifying the motion parameters.
And all of the models designed in the system
can be directly fabricated and they are guaranteed
to work in the real world.
So what makes interactive Robogami powerful
is that it helps users in designing
robots that will perform tasks well by guiding
users in improving both the motion
and the geometry of the robot designs.
For instance, making the robots faster or more stable
or decreasing the fabrication costs
to make them more affordable.
What we've put into the database are
a lot of wheeled robots and some legged robots.
You could combine any part you want
in the database with any other part
into as complex a structure as you want.
Our system would help you make that design functional.
What we envision for the future is
that a user would be able to go into the system
and basically define the behavior of this robot in terms
of tasks.
You can very quickly design a tool that you can print out
and that will help you do these tasks very cheaply, very
quickly, very easily.
So the dream is that this tool would
enable robots to become prevalent
in our everyday lives.
Since the system is geared towards making design easy,
making fabrication easy, then it's
basically lowering the barrier to having everybody design
and create their own robots.
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