6.S080 Mechanical Invention through Computation


Prerequisites: 6.046 or 6.034 or 6.033; or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
Instructors: Erik Demaine, Chuck Hoberman, Daniela Rus
Schedule: M2-5, room 56-167
AUS subject
A hands-on course that considers the creation of mechanisms with a focus on the inventive process itself. Topics include kinematic analysis & synthesis, self-actuated form-creation through origami and other means, design of transformable structures that change size and shape, with methods of physical interaction and automated control. Various techniques to conceptualize innovative devices will be explored, for example, methods to cross-connect top-level functionality (walking, flying, grasping, etc.) with various known, tested designs ('mechanical building blocks'). Student groups will organize semester-long projects to develop interactive software applications to facilitate 'invention through computation', and to enable the fluid, intuitive development of surprising and unique mechanisms. 4 EDPs.