6.S080: Mechanical Invention through Computation

Profs. Erik Demaine, Chuck Hoberman, Daniela Rus

Spring 2013

This hands-on class 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.

Lectures: Mondays 2-5pm in 56-167
First Lecture: February 11, 2013
Credit: 3-0-9 units; carries AUS credit for Course-6 undergrads

ALL STUDENTS WELCOME — we hope to get a good mix of designers, computer scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

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