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dc.contributor.advisorNeil Gershenfeld.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLangford, William Kai.en_US
dc.contributor.otherProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)en_US
dc.date.accessioned2020-03-23T20:45:36Z
dc.date.available2020-03-23T20:45:36Z
dc.date.copyright2019en_US
dc.date.issued2019en_US
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/124210
dc.descriptionThis electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.en_US
dc.descriptionThesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2019en_US
dc.descriptionCataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 127-138).en_US
dc.description.abstractRobots, which require the integration of a wide variety of mechanical and electrical functionality, are seldom built in a single process, but are instead assembled from parts created using a variety of different processes. While fabrication has advanced significantly to enable the routine fabrication of complex and precise objects from computer designs, the assembly processes used to integrate these parts are still largely manual and are notoriously difficult to automate. Recent research in digital fabrication has looked for ways to avoid assembly altogether by manufacturing integrated devices in a single process but has often struggled to integrate more than a few materials or functionalities. Instead of avoiding assembly, this work embraces it.en_US
dc.description.abstractInspired by the universality of amino acids that are the basis of molecular biology, I demonstrate an interchangeable set of building blocks that enable the construction of a wide variety of robotic capabilities, including machines that can assemble themselves. In this thesis I introduce a discrete approach to robotic construction that enables the fabrication of structure, mechanism, actuation, circuitry, and computation in a single process through the assembly of a small set of building blocks. This work is based on discretely assembled "digital" materials, in which parts are reversibly joined with a discrete set of relative positions and orientations, allowing for global geometries to be determined from local constraints, assembly errors to be detected and corrected, heterogeneous materials to be joined, and disassembly and reuse rather than disposal.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis approach simplifies the fabrication of integrated electromechanical machines and points to the possibility of building technology that is able to grow (exponential self-assembly) and self-repair. Furthermore, this approach discretizes robotic systems at a finer granularity than prior work in modular robotics, offering benefits including the flexibility to integrate heterogeneous functions, agility to rapidly construct and modify designs, and incremental extensibility in both system size and performance. These benefits help lower barriers in the rapid prototyping of electromechanical machines, make designs more reusable by providing a physical representation that facilitates design automation and abstraction, and enable machines that are more integrated than would be practical with alternative methods.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby William Kai Langford.en_US
dc.format.extent138 pagesen_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsMIT theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed, downloaded, or printed from this source but further reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectProgram in Media Arts and Sciencesen_US
dc.titleDiscrete robotic constructionen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)en_US
dc.identifier.oclc1145278783en_US
dc.description.collectionPh.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciencesen_US
dspace.imported2020-03-23T20:45:35Zen_US
mit.thesis.degreeDoctoralen_US
mit.thesis.departmentMediaen_US


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