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MIT recently received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation. CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) at MIT is using the funding to develop a printable robot.
Daniel Rus, MIT professor and the project leader states:
This research envisions a whole new way of thinking about the design and manufacturing of robots, and could have a profound impact on society.
Someday you could head to a local printing store and select a robot that suits your need. Then it would be printed out and you could take it home, all within 24 hours. While this sounds great, I’m not quite sure what they are printing already. Is MIT printing just the origami legs shown here in the origami insect, or are they also printing the actual circuits?
Today one can already print out plastic items and parts if you own a Makerbot, but just imagine being able to someday print out an entire robot! Now that is exciting! Also involved in the program called An Expedition in Computing for Compiling Printable Programmable Machines are the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.