A new Android app permits children (and adults) to create 3D robot models suitable for 3D printing with an unusual approach.
Chile-based Thinker Thing’s Dr. Fluff Robot Factory app is designed for kids to quickly develop printable 3D models of robots. That may not seem particularly unique, but the technique used is definitely different. They use a software simulation of genetic evolution to “grow” the robot models. Carolina Llanos, Marketing & Design Manager at Thinker Thing says:
We use a radical genetic evolutionary process to allow anyone to “grow” a professional 3d object ready for 3d printing in a similar way to how life itself occurred. Science aside, this means anyone, even kids, can build professional real objects using just their preferences.
But how does this work? They explain:
The power behind our innovation is a process that uses evolutionary computation to grow a perfect model from simple preference based choices.
Our evolutionary algorithm based engine utilizes crossover and mutation processes similar to how life itself was created. Which object lives on to produce the next generation is determined by the user’s preferences, and the genetic makeup, the DNA of these objects, are merged and mutated to produce the next generation of objects.
Genes survive because they are best suited to survival, when that survival is determined by the user’s preferences the result is a complex aesthetically pleasing object ideal for that unique user. In this way within a short period the user evolves their own perfect product using their own preferences.
The results are interesting to say the least, as you can see in the images. But for us, the true measure of success is not the faces of the robots, but rather in the faces of the kids playing with them.