Sep 12, 2022

A robot that draws circuits with conductive ink to survive

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Recent technological advancements have paved the way for the creation of increasingly sophisticated robotic systems designed to autonomously complete missions in different familiar and unfamiliar environments. Robots meant to operate in uncertain or remote environments could greatly benefit from the ability to actively acquire electrical power from their surroundings.

Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Imperial College London, and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign have recently developed a new robotic system that can visually rearrange its surroundings to receive the maximum amount of energy from a given power source. This robot, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv and set to be presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, works by drawing using conductive ink.

“Our PLOS ONE work started off as a quite philosophical thought experiment,” Andre Rosendo, the professor who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “Nietzsche claims that human’s primal instinct is power, and survival is just a condition sine qua non we couldn’t reach that final goal. Based on this idea, we started to devise experimental settings where our robot could not only act to survive, but to thrive.”

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