PhD Thesis, 2018
Over the next few decades, we are going to transition to a new economy where highly complex, customizable products are manufactured on demand by flexible robotic systems. In many fields, this shift has already begun. 3D printers are revolutionizing production of metal parts in the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. Whole-garment knitting machines allow automated production of complex apparel and shoes. Manufacturing electronics on flexible substrates makes it possible to build a whole new range of products for consumer electronics and medical diagnostics. Collaborative robots, such as Baxter from Rethink Robotics, allow flexible and automated assembly of complex objects. Overall, these new machines enable batch-one manufacturing of products that have unprecedented complexity.