MrSeb writes: "According to researchers at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, one day in the not too distant future you’ll be able to design, print and build your own robot. “Our vision is to develop an end-to-end process; specifically, a compiler for building physical machines that starts with a high level of specification of function, and delivers a programmable machine for that function using simple printing processes,” MIT Professor Daniela Rus says. The team points to the high expense currently to design and produce functioning robots. By simplifying the process, it would bring robotics to a much wider audience. With an automated process, more time could be spent on teaching the intricacies of robotics or getting to the task at hand rather than the laborious process of building the robot itself. Two paper prototypes have been built so far: an insect-like robot for exploring dangerous areas, and a gripper device for the handicapped."