Oct 27, 2018

Evolving the physical structure of robots to enhance performance in different environments

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, information science, robotics/AI

Researchers at CSIRO & Queensland University of Technology have recently carried out a study aimed at automatically evolving the physical structure of robots to enhance their performance in different environments. This project, funded by CSIRO’s Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform, was conceived by David Howard, research scientist at Data61’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group (RASG).

“RASG focuses on field robotics, which means we need our robots to go out into remote places and conduct missions in adverse, difficult environmental conditions,” David Howard told TechXplore. “The research came about through an identified opportunity, as RASG makes extensive use of 3D printing to build and customise our robots. This research demonstrates a design algorithm that can automatically generate 3D printable components so that our robots are better equipped to function in different environments.”

The main objective of the study was to generate components automatically that can improve a robot’s environment-specific performance, with minimal constraints on what these components look like. The researchers particularly focused on the legs of a hexapod (6-legged) robot, which can be deployed in a variety of environments, including industrial settings, rainforests, and beaches.

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