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Project Dyana team creates 3D printed cat-like robot

Dyana is a feline robot with a life-like character and movements (Image Source: Dyana).
Dyana is a feline robot with a life-like character and movements (Image Source: Dyana).
A team of students from Swiss universities has developed a feline robot. The Dyana project has combined animatronics and 3D printing to create a cat-like character that moves in a feline way.

Students involved in project Dyana have created a cat-like robot using 3D printed parts. Dyana is an animatronics project combining animation and robotics, aiming to create a robot character with natural feline movements. The team wants Dyana to be a character who can display different emotions and move like a cat.

The project began in autumn 2020, bringing 14 students of different disciplines together from four Swiss universities. The team was given nine months to work on the project before presenting it for evaluation. Given the project's success to date, they intend to continue working on Dyana rather than settling on the model as is.

Traditional robot shells are made from molded thermoplastics. However, the Dyana team worked with Sintratec, a 3D printing company, to create intricately detailed parts that mimic a cat's appearance. The team used several different 3D printing technologies for the project, including Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Combining these methods gave the team design freedom and a short manufacturing time for fast iteration of these sturdy parts.

The cat has three motors on each of its legs and several motors in its head and tail to simulate a cat's movements. For example, Dyana can swivel her head and ears, plus her eyes are animated to move and blink. The cat can walk, though a frame currently assists it; the next stage of the project will focus on ensuring that Dyana can move without the need for a helping hand.

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Polly Allcock, 2021-11- 1 (Update: 2021-11- 1)