“C-Turtle”, the 3D printed robot whose movements are similar to a sea turtle

Researchers at the University of Arizona 3D printed a modular robot whose movements are similar to a sea turtle.

This project aims at developing cheap robots manufactured from paper on the one hand; on the other hand, enabling each robot to find its own way to move.

Called C-Turtle, the robot’s design is based on a collaboration between computer science, mechanical engineering and biology. Kevin S. Luck, Michael A. Jansen, Joseph Campbell, Daniel M. Aukes, Heni Ben Amor constitute the team behind this innovation.


Manufacturing & movement

Partially 3D-printed, the robot is set up as part of a project in developmental robotics. The use of 3D printers really facilitated the manufacturing of the robot since “parts don’t have to be laboriously machined.” Researchers used laser cutting and lamination methods to develop in less than a day the robot with an optimal movement strategy for each environment.

The most impressive thing is that in one hour, it learns to move on different types of grounds using its own locomotion strategy.

Researchers say “a locomotion strategy for the C-Turtle was learned with a reinforcement learning method both in the lab and in a desert environment. The used method, Group Factor Policy Search, requires only few executions to uncover an optimized movement strategy.”

For researchers, such a robot could very helpful on terrains (such as another planet for instance) where they are not very used to.


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