Posted: April 9, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Title: Robot pebbles cooperate to copy and build 3D models

Category: #reconfigurablerobots

Author: Daniela Rus, Kyle Gilpin

Year: 2012


Description: Some researchers at MIT have created a system that allows a pile of “smart pebbles”  to create a 3D copy of whatever gets placed in it. In order to reproduce a 3D model, the first step is figuring out what you’re reproducing, and the pebbles do this by figuring out if they’re surrounded on all sides by other pebbles (in which case they’re not touching the object to be copied), or if they’re on a border somewhere (in which case they might be touching the object). Once the pebbles figure out where the model is they can send messages to neighboring pebbles to bond together and reproduce the same model. The actual bonding is done with electropermanent magnets on the cubes’ sides that can be switched on and off, unlike conventional electromagnets, which require a constant current in order to maintain their magnetism. Finally, any unused pebbles remain in the heap, and shake free when the copy is removed.


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