We propose "Paper Mechatronics"; a novel robot fabrication method by using only printing. "Paper Mechatronics" combines Printed Robotics to assemble the structure of the robot by self-folding of a printed paper, and Paper Electronics to build electronic device on a paper by printing. So far we've succeeded in developing a robot with a simple structure and an actuator by printing. To make robot structure, a self-folding phenomenon of paper is employed. The paper folds automatically along the printed pattern by drying shrinkage. To make an actuators, a conductive layer and a thermal expansion layer are printed on a paper. The thermal expansion layer bends the paper according to the Joule heat generated by the current flow in the conductive layer. Heating and heat dissipation allow reversible bending of the paper.Robot manufacturing method by printing is expected to make mass production possible in robot fabrication.
"Making a robot by simply printing on a paper". We have been developing a new technology, “Paper Mechatronics”. So far we succeeded in making a simple robot with a body and an actuator from a paper by using ordinary ink-jet printer. In the exhibition, we will demonstrate the automatic three-dimensional structure formation of the paper to create a robot from a piece of paper. You can see the paper bends according to the printed pattern the paper dries after printing.