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.
Gender inequities remain pervasive in academia. The COVID19 pandemic has only magnified these inequities. This webinar will focus on the barriers and facilitators to gender equity in academia and highlights actionable strategies for institutions to implement to improve gender equity.Virtual Event
Tired of the same old Zoom background? Want to make something more relevant to your major? Drop by this session to learn how to quickly put together graphics with Adobe Spark.Virtual Event
Public Admin, Social Work, and Sociology will discuss environment & immigration policies.Virtual Event
Want to add Adobe programs to your course but you aren’t sure how? Stop by Adobe Office Hours for a casual conversation on how you can implement Adobe in your classroom.Virtual Event
Join us for a night with award-winning magician Daniel Martin to bring you his amazing Magic Night IN, streaming LIVE to you and your family on January 28, 2021. Daniel is going to pull back the curtain and perform some of his most incredible pieces of magic, magic that created for TV and us! Plus, he is going to teach us how to do some amazing miracles using items most of us have lying around! The items you will need a deck of cards, mental spoon, salt or pepper shaker, two paper napkins, two coins, and a bag of M &M’s. Join us for a night of fun on YouTube to learn some new magic skills.Virtual Event
We are actively looking for leaders to help grow the Roadrunner network in Austin. Join Arturo Carrasquillo ’11, UTSA Alumni Austin Chapter President, to learn how to get involved with the UTSA Alumni Chapter.Virtual Event
This session will begin with a brief introduction and overview of the NSF CAREER program followed by audience Q&A with past NSF CAREER awardees.Virtual Event