Stick-on inflatable motors for future robots (and today's origami!)


#1

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#2

Pneumatic (and/or hydraulic) actuators will be a big thing with 3d printed robots.

Electrical actuators are impossible to print (yet). Rigid tubes and flexible bellows can be made from combination of rigid plastic and an elastomer, both being printable; with a multinozzle extruder the parts can be made from both materials, with powder sintering or optical lithography we don’t have this multimaterial option so the parts would have to be made separately and assembled.

Then the power system can be made of an electrically powered pump and a set of smaller actuators acting as valves. (Could these be printed from e.g. an electroactive polymer?)

Thought: Pressurizing the system with an onboard steam generator powered by a radioisotope heater.


#3

So 1950’s – the future power source is stomach acid


#4

I played with inflatable actuators over 40 years ago:


#5

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