AI News, Cynthia Sung

Cynthia Sung

research lies at the intersection of computational geometry, data driven methods, and rapid fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and origami-inspired assembly.

tool leverages a database of example robots that can be fabricated using our 3D print and fold technique, in which robots are 3-D printed as flat sheets and then folded into 3D structures. Users

robot designs are tested for stable forward locomotion via simulation and the tool provides visual feedback so that the user can modify the design. Once

robot designs are automatically added to the database, and experienced designers are also able to extend the database with new designs. We

have also developed algorithms that, given a 3-D mechanism composed of these joints and foldable rigid bodies, produce one-piece, non-self-intersecting patterns that fold into the 3-D mechanism. Using

MIT's Interactive Robogami lets you design and 3D-print origami-inspired robots

Robots are becoming ever more common around the world, but they're also becoming more and more complicated to make.

The software combines simulations and interactive feedback with algorithms for design composition, so that users can make high-level decisions (how many wheels should it have) rather than low-level ones (exactly what position should those wheels go in).

They were given twenty minutes of training, then asked to perform two tasks - the first was the creation of a stable car design, the second was to design a trajectory for an existing robot to travel through an obstacle course.

The results of the trial showed that the print-and-fold method reduced printing time by 73 percent and the amount of material by 70% over a more traditional approach.

Robots and Origami: Designing and 3D Printing Foldable Robots

If you think origami is limited to folding a sheet of paper into a crane, you’re out of touch.Now there’s Interactive Robogami, a new system under development from researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) that gives those of us who are neither a roboticist nor a mechanical engineer the tools to design our own robots.

Instead of working with separate systems, users can determine both the robot’s movement (“gait”) and shape (“geometry”) from a single system.To create and customize a robot body, users will be able to mix and match print—and fold parts from a catalog.

By combining the most effective elements of 2D and 3D printing for rapid prototyping, lightweight, affordable, and versatile robots can be produced within a short turnaround time.“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,” explained PhD graduate Cynthia Sung, one of the researchers on the project.

Now there’s Interactive Robogami, a new system under development from researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) that gives those of us who are neither a roboticist nor a mechanical engineer the tools to design our own robots.

By combining the most effective elements of 2D and 3D printing for rapid prototyping, lightweight, affordable, and versatile robots can be produced within a short turnaround time.

“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,” explained PhD graduate Cynthia Sung, one of the researchers on the project.

Cynthia Sung

research lies at the intersection of computational geometry, data driven methods, and rapid fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and origami-inspired assembly.

tool leverages a database of example robots that can be fabricated using our 3D print and fold technique, in which robots are 3-D printed as flat sheets and then folded into 3D structures. Users

robot designs are tested for stable forward locomotion via simulation and the tool provides visual feedback so that the user can modify the design. Once

robot designs are automatically added to the database, and experienced designers are also able to extend the database with new designs. We

have also developed algorithms that, given a 3-D mechanism composed of these joints and foldable rigid bodies, produce one-piece, non-self-intersecting patterns that fold into the 3-D mechanism. Using

Cynthia Sung is Making Robots for Everyone

To the average person, robots are still somewhat abstract: machines that operate in isolation in academic labs, factories or overseas for the military.

It is not science fiction to say that they can similarly change our everyday lives.” Robots integrate mechanical, electronic, and computational subsystems into physical devices that perform complex tasks ranging from autonomous navigation and manipulation to cooperative and social interactions.

That is probably when I first actively decided that I wanted to be a roboticist as a career.” Through the development of a unique robotics platform, Sung aims to provide designers with intuitive computer-aided tools for creating customized robots and behaviors.

“My mother taught me, and my favorite piece was always the flapping crane, because you could do more than just look at it once it was done, so I already knew intuitively that fold patterns had robotic potential.” “When I entered the doctoral program, my advisor, Daniela Rus, and Cagdas Onal, who was a postdoc at the time, were just starting to look at how folding could be used for faster fabrication,” Sung recalls.

“It seemed natural to me that I should combine my two interests, origami and robotics, to do foldable robot research.” Sung’s approach involved computer tools, where users could specify the 3D geometry of a robot and how they would like it to move, and algorithms would plot out how such a robot could be built out of simpler components with various functionalities.

“I have found that the people here encourage making connections outside the traditional boundaries of a field, and I think my research plans will fit right in..” In her research at Penn, Sung is advancing work on her robotics platform, seeing it as a way not only to expand accessibility to robotics, but also as a way to tackle manufacturing challenges.

This significantly speeds up the fabrication process and also makes storage and transport much easier because you can pack a flat sheet instead of a complex 3D geometry.” The group uses multiple different methods for creating their robots.

They also utilize a combination of 3D printing and folding to make more complex shapes, and more rigid shapes are fabricated using a layering approach that combines rigid faces of materials, such as plastic or metal, with flexible films.

In addition to user interfaces and design tools, Sung also wants to bring foldable robots to the point where they “can do real tasks.” Current work in foldable robot research mostly focuses on small-scale robots that require little power.

Making Software Development Faster and Cheaper by Creating Reusable Code

Origami robots are fabricated as 2D sheets and then folded into their 3D form using a fabrication technique called 3D print and fold, which is based on the idea that one can print 2D fold patterns using a 3D printer.

“Within a few hours,” Sung says, “users will be able to print the robot, assemble it, and have it walking around on their desk.” Because they can be designed and built so quickly, origami robots are useful in situations which require rapidly deployable robots, such as search and rescue operations.

“That requires looking at the dynamics of the robot, doing real dynamic simulations in environments that approximate the real world and looking at things like sensing and feedback control.” She says that the main goal behind this research is to allow people who are not expert robotics engineers to design their own personalized robots with a process as intuitive as folding a paper crane.

In the future, when people need access to these robots, they’ll be able to create them on their own without having to rely on engineers working for years to create them for them.” Cynthia Sung is an assistant professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics in Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science Homepage photo: Origami robots are fabricated as 2D sheets and then folded into their 3D form using a fabrication technique called 3D print and fold, which is based on the idea that one can print 2D fold patterns using a 3D printer.

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