AOH :: ROBO.TXT|
Shape Changing Robotics (Can you say T-1000 Terminator?)
AUTHOR: Joseph Michael
Other texts by same author: STELLA.TXT & STELLA2.TXT (Both relating to Stellar Drive Arrays)
SHAPE CHANGING ROBOTICS
A patent has been filed on shape changing robotics technology with
confirmation from the preliminary patent search that the product is unique.
This shape changing robotics technology titled 'Programmable Materials'
have wide industrial applications and below is a write up of this technology.
Programmable materials is a celluar robotic mechanism. (Cellular as in
modular - not the biological term.) The cells are bricks that move under
computer control allowing the robot to change shape under computer control.
All the bricks are clones allowing them to be replaced by identical clones
when damaged, which means this robot is self repairing for operating in
very hostile conditions. Most of the cells are hollow empty shells with no
mechanisms resulting in low manufacturing cost. The cells transport
themselves as well as equipment, tools and structural supports to erect
The modular tools, and equipment transported include simple items
such as screwdrivers to complex sub assemblies such as diesel generators
for power. Anything can be modularised. For example pneumatic
and hydraulic power sources. These together with preterminated cut lengths of
hoses and pneumatic/hydraulic equipment can be assembled together and connected
up to build powerful hydraulic/pneumatic equipment. Equipment for laying
electrical cables are also carried to cable itself up and installations
that it erects.
The robot changes shape by extending streamers on to which it transports
itself. Many streamers can be erected simultaneously allowing rapid
transportation of material - for example, when erecting a building,
many streamers can be used to erect the building from all sides.
Programmable materials can build heavy bases for supporting large structures
using simple buckets which when bolted together and filled with water provide
the necessary bulk for a solid foundation. Such heavy foundations are required
for example in erecting temporary bridges or in erecting supports
to support a collapsing tower block.
All these operations are carried out under total automation with the
operator specifying general instructions such as where to lay the foundation,
and how much weight to install.
Programmable materials can be built in a factory no bigger than about
4000 square feet. The factory assembly plant can itself be made of more
programmable materials. Since they can transport the parts needed for their
own assembly and subsequently transport it away from assembly to the warehouse
made from more programmable materials. The machinery for assembly can be
modular and thus the whole factory can be a machine made of programmable
materials for the production of programmable materials. This is the way
I plan to develop the technology.
Further down the line, similar production lines for making cars, biscuits,
television sets etc will emerge. The idea is that you make a self contained
factory which can be sold to other organisations cheapening the whole
business of making goods with a factory.
In the long term future, there will be no other ways of mass producing
goods other than through the use of programmable materials which are
far more flexible than anything seen ever before.
Programmable materials can be re-used for other applications simply by
changing the software. So one minute its a factory making cars, the next minute
its another factory assembling computers or electrical goods allowing
product portfolios to be greatly expanded and reduce costs.
Programmable materials is the hardware equivalent of computer software.
What you do with it is determined only by the software and custom tools fitted.
Unlike conventional machines, you can build greater varieties of machines
with it. It is much greener than conventional machines, because there is no
waste. Programmable materials are 'indestructable' and completely re-usable
across all its different applications. Therefore, you don't need to make
more than you need and what you don't need, you can re-use - saving the
planet from pollution and waste.
In medical applications, it is probable that the bricks can be miniaturised
to 1mm size with todays technology allowing these thing to enter a human body
to cut out cancers, cysts, haemorrhage etc. Micro and nano technologies are
greatly simplified because there is little or no need to use chemistry.
Programmable materials can be sent to space. Every launch of any vehicle
into space is fully loaded with programmble materials. The extra programmable
materials are put into parking orbits in space. When a need arises such as
the need to build a space station or a lunar base say, the programmble
materials are collated and instructed to turn into a space station.
If required, these vehicles can be sent to say the moon where they change
shape into a vehicle more suited to a lunar landing. On landing it turns into
a lunar base. No human intervention is required. It cheapens everything.
If there was a rough landing, most of the programmable materials would survive.
You would have to kill all the cellular components to kill off the robot
and thus with extreme reliability (not currently known in space engineering)
you would set about erecting a lunar base. Whats more, its the same stuff
that is used on earth without any hugely different modifications.
Programmable materials are going to spread around the world as all industries
switch to this type of factory and methods of production. It may take
20 years but I suspect we will see much of what has been said in less than
five years because there is a lot of business to be generated in
making the chips for the controllers, writing the software and
making huge savings in the way production plants are run.
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