Engineering student creates smart, disposable 3-D printed robot
(June 22, 2015) -- Here’s a way to expedite that apocalyptic scenario in which robots take over the world: 3-D print the robots. Electrical and computer engineering student Eric Wineman and some of his fellow students at UTSA had a similar idea, not to bring about the end of the world but for the purpose of making a quick, inexpensive and destructible robot to be used in an emergency situation.
“We figured a lot of robots are novel nowadays,” he said. “They look cool but they can’t do a whole lot yet.”
Wineman is part of the SMART program that allows him to pursue his master’s degree in electrical engineering while also working as a civilian for the military, where he uses 3-D printers daily. While a student earlier this year in Electrical and computer engineering professor Mo Jamshidi’s intelligent robotics class, Wineman and his classmates had the idea to use his experience with 3-D printing to create an intelligent, disposable robot.
“The first major advantage is cost,” he said. “In the process of manufacturing a part, you send off a drawing, get it made and hope it turns out right. With 3-D printing, the trial-and-error process is much quicker.”
Wineman’s robot has the ability to find a valve, then open and close it. This could be useful, he said, in a dangerous environment such as a boiler room with high-pressure pipes.
“Say one bursts,” he said. “You could have the robot go in there instead of risking a person’s life.”
Overall, the robot took about 100 hours to print in Jamshidi’s lab. Even though that’s not exactly lightning fast, Wineman said, it’s advantageous because students can watch the results as they form and dispose of failed parts quickly.
“3-D printing is a new approach to prototyping,” Jamshidi said. “It makes prototypes very inexpensive.”
Now, with one semester left at UTSA, Wineman is working on adding voice recognition capability to the robot, so a person can call out to it for help. Jamshidi, meanwhile, is looking forward to expanding his robotics laboratory in the fall, and expects his students to do much more work with 3-D printing.
Learn more about robotics at UTSA here.
Roadrunners get involved in fun, engaging and interactive experiences to gear up for the new school year.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The success of African Americans in popular sports has been well documented, while less attention has been given to their intellectual achievements. Utilizing historical, sociological, and cultural perspectives, Dr. Langston Clark will explore the intersection of Black Intellectualism and Black Athleticism.The Garage at the Pearl, 250 E. Grayson, San Antonio
Join the UTSA Small Business Development Center for its 5th annual day of immersion into digital marketing through seminars, Q&A sessions, and networking. Industry-expert presenters include Mark Nanez, Cory Ames, Charity Matthews, and Steven Bullard.Durango Building (DBB 2.316), Downtown Campus
With the cost of technologies declining, why has the cost of health tech continued to rise? Can hospitals afford the latest innovations? This FREE presentation will cover market needs and investment trends in Health IT.Durango Building (DBB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
This exciting event leading up to the UTSA Football season opener with Incarnate Word brings the coaches, players, bands, cheerleaders and fans from both teams together for a spirited pep rally on the San Antonio Riverwalk, which is free and open to the public.Arneson River Theatre, Downtown San Antonio
Home tailgate admission is free to all UTSA Alumni Association members. Non-member adult admission is $20 and children 16 and under are free. Anyone who wants to get Rowdy is welcome! Giveaways, music, UTSA Cheer & Rowdy, Pep Band and more!Alamodome Lot C, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
The Roadrunners open up 2019 play against hometown rival UIW Cardinals.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio