We’ve seen tiny robots before, and we’ve even seen robotic 3D printers build new robots, but we have never seen a robot build itself. Until now that is…
A team of researchers from the Wyss Institute at Harvard have created a tiny robot which has the unique ability to fold itself up, and then walk away. Drawing inspiration both from the Japanese paper folding art Origami, as well as from the natural world, this robot transforms itself from a flat sheet into a form capable of walking, in less than 5 minutes.
In order to build this unique robot, the team used traditional printing and laser cutting to fabricate an electrical system directly onto a flat sheet of material. The material in question was a specialised form of plastic used in childrens toys which shrinks and folds up when exposed to heat. In this way, when a charge is applied to the structure, the robot folds itself up into a predetermined form, looking something like a cross between a spider and a crab.
This milestone comes on the back of increasing interest from scientists in the field of self-assembling structures and so-called ‘4D printing’. "Getting a robot to assemble itself autonomously and actually perform a function has been a milestone we've been chasing for many years," said senior author Rob Wood. These sort of structures would be incredibly useful in extreme environments, such as in outer space, or on the battlefield.
Watch the video below of this amazing process in action!
The 11 Most Student-Friendly Cities in the U.S.
This Man Is So Rich That He Went Shopping With 8 Robotic Maids
Top 5 Futuristic Movies That Are Terrifyingly Possible To Happen
Cruel Human Bullies Poor Helpless Robot Again
Is Artificial Intelligence Real?
11 Weirdest, Wackiest Tech From IFA 2015
Let The Robots Do The Work
6 Strange Tech Inventions Of 2015
The Evolution Of The Robot
Robots Are Taking Over Japan!
Spyzie, the trustworthy smartphone monitoring tool for parental control
IFA 2018: The top 3 tech trends of the year
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day 2018: How to choose the best deals
The easiest way to fix an iPhone stuck in recovery mode without data loss