Apr 5 2012   1:29PM GMT

Could we soon have flat pack robots?

mscott2 Profile: mscott2

3D Printing

The BBC recently reported that a US-based project could see the average person designing and printing a robot within 24 hours. Surely this would be more fun than building flat park furniture from everyone’s favourite Swedish store?

The £6.3 million funding for the five-year project, which involves experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, is coming from the National Science Foundation.
The recent surge in 3D printing is an avenue the project is keen to explore, with Prof Rob Wood of Harvard University telling the BBC, “3D printers are becoming more accessible but we want to go beyond that to create robots that encompass multiple functionalities, that have electrical and mechanical components, controllers and microprocessors. That’s something that goes beyond today’s state-of-the-art printers.”
It is hoped, in the long term, that the research could eventually lead to the creation of a one-stop machine able to produce a robot at home for around £65.
Downtime has one question, what happens if you run out of ink halfway through?

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