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Robosuit uses heat-resistant materials in a protective covering for robots. Source: Roboworld The exterior of a robot might come as an afterthought to some robotics developers, but your choice of materials will affect its safety, durability, and even aesthetics. Any design project should include considerations of how a robot will move, whether it will operate around people, what tasks it will perform, and the anticipated environment. Other considerations include ease of cleaning and repair, weight (which affects overall power requirements), design for manufacturing, and, of course cost. Collaborative robot arms, or cobots , are very different from autonomous underwater vehicles, aerial drones , or other field robots. A robot that works inside an MRI machine must be made of certain materials, while a stationary robot in a factory may need other characteristics. Here are some of the materials to keep in mind when designing and building robots. 1. Steel Steel is one of the materials used most often by robot builders. This sturdy metal is a smart choice if you’re building a robot that needs to stand up to harsh conditions. It’s possible to harden the steel to between 100,000 and 300,000 pound-force per square inch (psi) in many cases. If you plan to harden the steel, look for some with high carbon content. Usually, the more carbon that steel contains, the more suitable it is for making harder through heat treatments. Ultra-wear resistant kinds of steel are also available, as well as steel that stands up to frequent impacts. Bear in mind that this material can be challenging to work with if you don’t have the proper tools, such as those used for welding. That’s especially true if you need to make the steel conform to a particular shape to streamline your robot’s body. Russia’s Uran-9 robotic tank […]
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