Mechanical Invention through Computation class

In Spring 2013, Demaine and Rus cotaught a hands-on undergraduate class at MIT called 6.S080: Mechanical Invention through Computation, together with visiting artist Chuck Hoberman.  The class explored the creation of mechanisms with a focus on the inventive process itself, with topics including kinematic analysis and 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. The 27 students consisted of a healthy mix of designers, computer scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. They focused on semester-long group projects to develop interactive software applications, kinetic physical devices, and robots. The projects were exhibited publicly at CSAIL, with hundreds of people attending the opening event.