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Graduates develop DIY walking robot

PE

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for the robot that is built using 3D-printing and will be used to promote robotics education

Two engineering graduates from the University of Manchester have developed a DIY walking robot that anyone can build with 3D-printing technology, with the aim to promote knowledge of robotics to as many people as possible, and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for it.

Jack Scott-Reeve and Josh Elijah, who graduated with master’s degrees in engineering from the university’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, have developed QuadBot, a 3D printable walking robotics platform that can be built up layer by layer using the material polylactic acid. According to the two, using 3D-printing enables them to avoid high cost bulk manufacture techniques.

Elijah said: “3D printing allowed us to make it modular. Most robots are made with laser cutting. We wanted to make something that was easy to put together but also really robust. 3D-printing allows you to design a custom shape around the motor. Making 3D parts with a printer that are consistent across batches is difficult. If the surroundings are cold the parts could be smaller due to contraction.

“We took inspiration from aerospace engineering. The circuit board doubles as the mechanical frame and houses motor control, power – up to 6 amps at peak – and wireless Bluetooth.”

The learning tool – which is intended to be used in project groups and workshops – gives users with little or no prior experience the chance to understand electronics, coding, 3D design and printing, and maths for robotics. Scott-Reeve and Elijah stated that they are targeting the hobbyist market as well. 

Scott-Reeve said: “We were frustrated with the quality of engineering education in the UK and the lack of expandable, exciting and low-cost robotic kits available, so we decided to create the QuadBot. We want to bring it into schools to inspire the next generation of makers.

“There is so much potential for users. QuadBot can walk, dance and light up. With sensors, it can follow you around while avoiding any obstacles. It can even play songs.”

The QuadBot comes as a kit which features a ‘Quadboard’, with motors and other non-printable components.

Quadbot’s Kickstarter project can be found here.

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