In engineering today, we usually think about how to control every little thing. But some tasks can be so complex to figure out that manual programming is nearly impossible. That’s when self learning systems can become a huge advantage. Instead of controlling every little line of code, you allow the system to try different movements, saving the one that kind of works, then try new movements based on that. By the trial and error method, the robot will find the best locomotion technique for its own shape, whether it is walking, jumping, rolling or moves that no human have ever thought about before! This is very similar to how evolution works and it can be used for robots as well, as demonstrated in this video from IEEE Spectrum. You loose detailed control, your robot might not choose the solution you think is the right one, and at the end you will probably have no idea how the program actually work, but the robot moves! This is the very frontier of robot development!
If you have seen our earlier post “The different kinds of 3D printers” you should start to realize just how fast 3D printing is taking over the world. But if you still are skeptical and doubt the new revolution, here comes another excellent introduction of the different kinds of 3D printing technologies, all thanx to ExplainingTheFuture. This new democratization of manufacturing is spreading all over the world like wildfire, and you don’t want to miss out! However, not everyone can afford an own personal 3D printer, or doesn’t have enough use for one to rationalize the cost. If you are one of these people, you will be pleased to know that you can find other people in your area with a 3D printer that are willing to print out your object for a charge, simply by visiting 3dhubs! You can even use it to make your own handy mascot by downloading the 3D models for free and ask someone to print it out for you!
3D printing is becoming more and more common these days, in fact you can use the 3D Hubs website to find a person with a 3D printer near you today! But most of the privately owned 3D printers are of the FDM type (Fused deposition modeling) which has some limitations. So how do you know which type of 3D printers would be best for your object? ExplainingTheFuture has done the groundwork and examine the pro’s and con’s of the different types of printers, to make your choice easier!
It would be very difficult today to avoid hearing of all the great things 3D printers and added manufacturing can do, but most people think these machines only makes plastic mechanical parts. But the 3D printing concept stretches far beyond such obvious applications. Some modern printers makes clothes, shoes, chocolates, art and even vehicles! Just to give you a glimpse, the YouTube channel ExplainingTheFuture made this video at “3D Printshow London 2014”, showing some of the different potential uses of added manufacturing.