Wanted: Micro-Robotic Fabrication Swarms

No kidding – the US Navy has put out a small business technology transfer solicitation (or STTR as they acronymize it) for proposals to “Develop a swarm of micro-robotic fabrication machines that will enable the manufacture of new materials and components”. Astonishing!
More details:
This topic focuses on a particular approach of using a coordinated and distributed swarm of micro-robots that are capable of handling and manipulating nano- and micron-scale building blocks in the process of synthesizing novel materials and structures. Each micro-robot would perform a specific task, often a single rudimentary task, repeatedly. Collectively, these tasks would be choreographed in purposeful activities for manufacturing. A micro-robot swarm should be able to perform material synthesis and component assembly, concurrently.
DoD is requesting that submitters actually develop a proof of concept demonstration of this approach. Three phases are envisioned, including concept proof, complex parallel fabrication demonstration and finally productionizing the technology suitable for commercial use. 
While this sounds a lot like a science fiction story, it is quite real and to be expected from DoD. These are the same folks that have driven forward all manner of innovation since the 1950’s and this project is no different. The scary part is that someone might actually build this. 
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Black Hawk Twinned

Digital twin creation of the US Army’s Black Hawk helicopters will bring new life into the out-of-production aircraft.

Read More »

Email us

Feedback, Tips?

We’ll use the details you provide on this form to contact you regarding your inquiry. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

Be Informed!

Keep up to date on the latest developments in 3D printing and additive manufacturing