I'd like to try building a robot that can build a copy of itself. Basically, I guess that involves:
- having some means of navigating around (i.e. wheels, tracks, something to move on)
- having some manipulator, capable of taking parts and arranging them together
What would be the standard set of problems I'll encounter if I'll try to do it?
For example, I already understand that CPU and array of sensors provided with NXT or EV3 is, well, very-very basic by todays standards to say at the very least, so probably it can't be helped to replace it with some more advanced controlling unit, for example, Arduino-based and a full-blown camera + Kinect. What else? For example, I'm a bit hesitating about:
- Is it possible to navigate a robot on wheels/tracks with decent precision, enough to be able to do such building work?
- Is it possible to construct a manipulator (i.e. an arm with some degrees of freedom) that would be able to put together basic Lego/Technics joints? Would it be precise enough?
- Should I use motors / pneumatics for the arm? Pros/cons of both of these types?
- If I'll use standard Mindstorms motors for the arm, what's the typical maximum weight it can handle?
- If standard Technics/Mindstorms parts won't be good enough, maybe some 3rd party parts (such as Matrix Robotics) parts will do?
- What are the good examples of minimalistic Technic/Mindstorms robots / arms, easy to assemble?
And, the main question of them all — why hasn't anyone done that yet? I've found people building CNC 3D mills, guys who assemble lego models by hand instead of 3D printing, a very simple lego "assembly" factory model and a very basic lego 3D scanner & "printer".