For a polymathic backyard scientist, making robots could be one of the recreational activities provided if all the hardware necessary aren’t that expensive and are readily available. But this non-availability could be the thing of the past as scientists find a trailblazing new technique to make a robot out of paper with just inkjet printers with the idea taken from origami, and that too – 2D printer, not 3D printer. So technically if you have a printer, you can make a robot.
Two MIT scientists, Daniela Rus and Ankur Mehta explain the system of designing in the paper entitled “An End-to-End System for Designing Mechanical Structures for Print-and-fold Robots “.
The procedure involves a software which can exscind a two-dimensional pattern to any user’s choice and use of “cheap and easily available software and hardware tools and raw materials, making it accessible to a casual hobbyist.”
The only hardest part of the process is the use of Python scripts that array the end-to-end process of designing, and it also makes abstraction of two-dimensional fold patterns from three-dimensional shape possible.