How to build your own autonomous, self-assembling robots. This project describes every detail of the robots used in our scientific research including CAD files, source code, assembly instructions, etc. Hopefully everything you would need to reproduce our experiments, or have a fun toy. A portion of the research was published in Nature, a copy of that paper is attached below. Also attached below is an extract from the PhD thesis which contains a summary of all the experiments performed using these robots and details about their construction and specifications. Lastly, videos of several of the experiments are attached. For further information beyond the specifics relating to these robots, go to: http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~saul/PhD

Step 1: Making the printed circuit boards (PCB's)

The PCB's were designed using the Eagle PCB design software (http://www.cadsoft.de). I've attached the Eagle CAD files as well as the Gerber files. The Gerber files are what you can send directly to a PCB fabrication service to get the boards made. I also included panelized gerber files - this version has 16 of the robot pcb's per panel for more cost efficient manufacturing.
<p>hi, would love to watch your videos, but they all say &quot;Your Video Is Being Processed! Check Back Soon!&quot;</p><p></p>
wow could is hrink them down further and futher just to see them asmebale a complex object
reminds me of replactors now to make them smaller
how would i make its communications via infared? would it be possible to minaturise them? using smaller components that is. <br>
Is there any way to make these like cubes<br>
sorry i dont understand, im just getting into electronics and cnc and stuff, but what are all of the different files for?
most of them are .mov files(videos) they're more than likely just tutorials and other such videos showing you how it works.
ermm.... yea... sure they are... yea...
at first, I was going to point out that your microcontroller isn't lined up, polarity-wise (the notched corner usually matches the part marking on the pcb/pwb/wtf-ever) Then I noticed ALL the corners are notched. Did you use the writing on the MC to orient your polarity, or does it not matter?
I could be mistaken, but it looks like there's a small circular indent in the top left of the m/c, sorta hiding under that wire. Yes it would definitely matter, so if I'm wrong and there's no indent, they must have used the writing to orient it as you suggest.
Do you realize what you have done? You will kill us all!
Silly monkeys! It's all fun and games until Skynet gets us, or Replicators take over. I won't mention "The Matrix" 'cuz that's just stoopid. I mean, come on Wackoffski brothers or whatever you call yourselves, have at least some regard for thermodynamics.
LEAVE KEANU ALONE!!!!! just kidding ;+)
Oh. I was in no way disparaging the acting talent of Mr. Reeves, he just had so little to work with, script-wise, in those films, ha... hah... haah... hahaha HA HA! (sorry, I just couldn't type that with a straight face...)
i wish i knew half of the words you guys were using =\<br/>
This is an exceptionally intriguing project. It has a stark resemblance to biomechanics (amino acid complexing for example). Very good work!
my thought exactly, won't be long until we have cyber-mechanical-bio forms XD
Congrats. You've made one of my dreams come true. I now have two working robotic cupholders that can navigate from bluetooth beacons I built!!! I feel fulfilled.
So you put them on an air hockey table and they fly around hooking on to each other? Why?
A better question: Why not?
That's true.
They should have spikes.
oh my god yes.
And lasers.
You're Reading My Mind.
And a nitro booster.
But it's cozy. I also don't have to worry about running out of space to put stuff. JK. I might add a Nerf turret on top of one of these.
Why to add a nerf turret if you could add paintball or airsoft gun. Of course it would be a lot bigger but still an idea...
Full-auto shuriken launcher.
Two words "Holy Crap". Now make this with larger tiles and make is so they can arrange 3D. Hehe as if 2d cells was enough to scare my ill-techo mum
hmm... maybe i'll find out how to make a few of these that can't jam communications, like using twice as many comm coils, half for sending and half for recieving...
don't forget the 3 laws of robotics!
forget it, they cant learn
the robots, they cant take in knowlege and react on it except for accepting or denying another robot.
:O But then you surely haven't read some of the Foundation series my good friend!
that true
Hi! Dan,<br/>I am also using eagle software lite version &amp; I think It is very useful for people like me.<br/>The article is very useful. <br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.photozonegraphics.com">http://www.photozonegraphics.com</a><br/><br/>
well, they worked but, uh....he spilled the lemonade i asked for...dumbass robot
inspired by optimus prime, huh?
om nom nom little botties. hmm cool little chaps you got there, and thanks for the instuctable on them. ahh must finish trying to figure out my self constructing ones. is a doosey. at the moment the only thing they try to do is self DEstruct. : \ (well more or less anyway)
can't wait to go, mit or bust. even if i'm not going to major in robotics, there will be people around showing this stuff off.
see, its amazing things like this that make me want to go to MIT so badly :]. amazing little things, so small, yet are capable of such tasks. and it took me a bit to realize theyre moving around because theyre on an airhockey table :P
Nice,neat well explained Instructable "Dan," up to your usual standard.Congratulations.
I think I love you :D This is incredible! I'd love to get some of those. I may just have to order those circuit boards. Great job!
Are there any videos around on the net of these in operation?
Man, that attached pdf sure is impressive. This instructable is just baffling. Congratulations.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products. He also writes a DIY column for ... More »
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