TECH

In MIT, new robots were made. They wind round the glass fiber reinforced plastic pipes and climb them upwards

The Mediated Matter Group / MIT
The Mediated Matter Group / MIT

American engineers have created a system Fiberbots, which is designed to create objects from fiberglass. The system is controlled by a single algorithm, and each of the robots winds around the pipe and rises it upward as it is printed. The article is published in the journal Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design , a short description is available on the project page.

With the development of robotics and additive technologies, engineers began actively experimenting with various methods of automated erection of structures. Most often, the basis of such construction platforms, the robotic arm, which is refined to a 3D printer, working with a wide variety of materials: concrete , foam and even fiberglass . Nevertheless, sometimes developers move away from traditional schemes and come up with fundamentally new robots that can build designs.

Engineers from the Media Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created building robots Fiberbots, which wind round the pipes of fiberglass and on them also move up. Each individual robot is an ultraviolet flashlight in a puffed soft case around which the extruder’s arm rotates.

From the containers located on the ground, the robot receives fiberglass and polymer, and wraps around itself a tube of composite material, using ultraviolet to cure the photopolymer. After winding one section, the robot is slightly blown out so that it can move inside the pipe, rises higher and again inflates, becoming fixed in a new place, and then continues to wind the fiberglass.

To control the fiberbots, you do not need to program the motion trajectory of each individual robot – the operator can simply specify a shape or even a point towards which fiberglass pipes should be built, and the control system will itself program the program for each individual robot. A total of 16 Fiberbots can be built, and the height of the structure can reach 4.5 meters.Earlier, researchers from the Swiss Higher Technical School of Zurich developed a construction robot capable of assembling reinforcing steel structures for pouring concrete, which simultaneously serve as a formwork.

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