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  1. #1

    3D printed robotic construction kit for PVC pipes


    I'm tinkering a bit with robotics and would like to design an open source robotics construction kit. By "construction kit" I mean something like VEX Robotics, in that it has a finite set of universal building blocks that can be combined. While VEX Robotics relies on proprietary designs that are industrially produced, I would like to user open source designs and cheap and available materials. I was thinking therefore to use PVC pipes, and then design 3D printed joints and other things that can be used to attach the PVC pipes and make them move. As an illustration, there is a thing on Thingiverse called "PVC pipe construction set, ver.2", thing number 932732 (sorry can't post links). This has joints for PVC pipes to build rigid structures, like furniture or disaster relief shelters. I would like to build upon that idea, and also add things that can make it move, like:

    - Holders for ball bearings and screws
    - Mounts for motors and sensors
    - Cog wheels
    - Racks
    - Etc...

    The goal is to create something that can be used to build bigger machines than what can be built with kits like VEX Robotics. Also to be able to build robots that can do real useful work, such as for agriculture, restaurant automation, or other small scale factory automation.

    The extreme long term goal would be to use the kit to create a robot that can remove 3D prints, cut and drill PVC pipes, and essentially create copies of itself, as long as it has access to PVC pipes, filament, motors, screws, etc. If any of these resources runs out, it would order new ones online, and unpack them as they arrive.

    What do you think about the feasibility of this? And is anyone working on something similar, or has seen something and has links to share?
    Last edited by limikael; 05-31-2019 at 07:27 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    The goal of InflatiBits is to provide quick, easy and fun tools for building your own soft robotic structures with minimal effort. To reach this goal we split standard soft actuator designs into their core components, that serve as building blocks which can be freely combined to create a wide range of soft actuators.
    Last edited by Bikeracer2020; 11-13-2022 at 09:11 AM. Reason: link check

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