Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
Siemens is creating 3D printers that crawl like spiders, cooperating to autonomously create objects.
The work is at an early stage, but it hints at where manufacturing may be headed, thanks to more sophisticated robot hardware, smarter control software, and new ways of forming components using 3-D printing. Unlike a conventional robotic production line, which has to be carefully reconfigured for each new product, a team of mobile manufacturing bots would simply be given the latest design and left to go to work.
The robots are equipped with 3-D cameras for mapping their surroundings. But they need to be able to localize themselves with a high degree of accuracy in order to work together effectively. Currently they are too imprecise to build anything very complex, and they will need to become far more sophisticated before actual manufacturing becomes feasible...
The robots are partially automated, but will eventually become more fully autonomous, learning how to interact with their environment...
I'm pretty sure I've seen this future somewhere before. In Charles Sheffield's 1979 novel The Web Between the Worlds, he describes remarkable spider robots that work together to build space structures. They are effectively 3D printers.
The two great ovoid bodies were hanging near the surface of the asteroid, about a hundred meters apart. The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately a few centimeters clear of the surface. Between them, probing deep into the interior of the asteroid, was set the long proboscis. As Rob watched, the great, faceted eyes turned towards him. The Spiders were aware of his presence. Somewhere deep in their organic components lurked a hint of consciousness.
Corrie had been fascinated by them from the first moment she saw one. "Why eight legs?" she had asked.
Rob had shrugged. "It extrudes material like a spider. How many legs wouldi you have given it?
Via Technology Review.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/9/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.
The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.
Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.
CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.' - Charles Sheffield, 1979.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
A Passing Drone Has Covid-19 Advice
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up.'
Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently...'
Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.
Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'
reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'
No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'
Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories