Disposable 3d-printed spiderbot

And a handsome spider it is:

With its long extremities, the spider has a range of ways to get around. Some models can even jump. This is possible using hydraulically operated bellows drives that serve as joints and keep limbs mobile. With no muscles to stretch their legs, these creatures build up high levels of body pressure that they then use to pump fluid into their limbs. Shooting fluid into the legs extends them. "We took this mobility principle and applied it to our bionic, computer-controlled lightweight robot. Its eight legs and body are also fitted with elastic drive bellows that operate pneumatically to bend and extend its artificial limbs," explains Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Becker, a scientist at IPA.

Researchers at IPA rely on generative production technologies, and specifically on selective laser sintering (SLS) of plastics, a 3-D printing process. In this process, step by step thin layers of a fine polyamide powder are applied one at a time and melted in place with the aid of a laser.

"We can use SLS to produce one or even several legs in a single operation; this minimizes assembly effort, saves materials and reduces the time it takes to build a robot. With the modular approach, individual parts can be quickly swapped as well. Our robot is so cheap to produce that it can be discarded after being used just once -- like a disposable rubber glove," Becker points out.


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12 Responses:

  1. NelC says:

    "Some models can even jump."


  2. peterix says:

    The technology might be sound, but consider the fact that people who don't know that it's a robot might get involved. Those firefighters mentioned in the article won't be happy when this monster gives someone a heart attack. A fire/earthquake/whatever AND gigantic spiders from hell? Yeah. Not good.

    Now... how would I get my hands on one of those? :P

  3. Insert video of the Minority Report spider scene here.

  4. Kill it! Kill it!!!!!

  5. AK says:

    Headcrabs. Great.

  6. Art Delano says:

    Comes in white, cheap to make... I'm picturing this turning into a Kidrobot-type product. Let your graffiti kids customize their dolls and then watch it jump around and grab onto somebody's crotch.

  7. Ha. This very much reminds me of Patrick Farley's "Spiders" comics (about the alt-history US invasion of Afganistan with spider robots).
    Original wayback machine version
    New version of the comic

  8. Eric S says:

    It's a replicator!

  9. I really want this to not exist

  10. LionsPhil says:

    This is in dire need of video footage of it scuttling.

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