Prof. Shai Revzen’s lab has developed an inexpensive technique to rapidly fabricate a variety of useful robots, requiring only their modules and two stock materials. One of the lab’s modular bots, BigANT, just received a major redesign that lets it walk over grass, up hills, and across uneven surfaces. It took on north campus’ biggest terrain challenge, the Wave Field, in this new video.
These modular bots can help with a number of tasks that require fast, versatile action. Search and rescue teams can use them to tackle unexpected situations, a robotics start-up company can quickly make a new product prototype, a high-school robotics classroom can teach teams of kids about the principles of robotics, special forces can use them to collect intelligence behind enemy lines, and future astronauts can deploy them on a mission to the moon or Mars. All these tasks require the ability to quickly build robots capable of tackling unexpected obstacles.
Their latest work on these robots was published in IEEE Robotics and Automation in the paper “Rapidly Prototyping Robots: Using Plates and Reinforced Flexures.”