Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich


Interactive Design of 3D-printable Robotic Creatures

V. Megaro, B. Thomaszewski, M. Nitti, O. Hilliges, M. Gross, S. Coros

Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia (Kobe, November 2 - November 5, 2015), ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 216:1--216:9
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We present an interactive design system that allows casual users to quickly create 3D-printable robotic creatures. Our approach automates the tedious parts of the design process while providing ample room for customization of morphology, proportions, gait and motion style. The technical core of our framework is an efficient optimization-based solution that generates stable motions for legged robots of arbitrary designs. An intuitive set of editing tools allows the user to interactively explore the space of feasible designs and to study the relationship between morphological features and the resulting motions. Fabrication blueprints are generated automatically such that the robot designs can be manufactured using 3D-printing and off-the-shelf servo motors. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our solution by designing six robotic creatures with a variety of morphological features: two, four or five legs, point or area feet, actuated spines and different proportions. We validate the feasibility of the designs generated with our system through physics simulations and physically-fabricated prototypes.

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author = {Megaro, Vittorio and Thomaszewski, Bernhard and Nitti, Maurizio and Hilliges, Otmar and Gross, Markus and Coros, Stelian},
title = {Interactive Design of 3D-printable Robotic Creatures},
journal = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
issue_date = {November 2015},
volume = {34},
number = {6},
month = oct,
year = {2015},
issn = {0730-0301},
pages = {216:1--216:9},
articleno = {216},
numpages = {9},
url = {},
doi = {10.1145/2816795.2818137},
acmid = {2818137},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
keywords = {3D-printing, physical characters, robotics},
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