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Origami robot can fold itself and walk away

Posted on Friday, 8 August, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

The robot can manipulate its own shape. Image Credit: YouTube / New Scientist
Microrobotics engineers have built a robot that is both mobile and capable of folding itself in to shape.
Developed at Harvard University, the real-life Transformer consists of a butterfly-shaped net of panels that the robot can manipulate in to a shape that enables it to shamble along using two battery-powered microcircuits attached to each side.

Inspired by Japanese origami, the contraption is able to fold its panels, which are made from a sheet of memory plastic, by heating the interconnecting copper tracks.

The engineering team hopes that robots like this could one day prove invaluable in helping to find earthquake survivors trapped in rubble. By changing its shape the robot would have an advantage in exploring narrow gaps through which conventional robots would never be able to fit.

"I think what this Harvard team have done is great," said Chris Melhuish of the UK's Bristol Robotics Laboratory. "If you're clever, you can design the material so that its shape is in charge of the robot's self-organisation rather than a complicated and expensive computer. That is precisely what they have done here it is promising stuff."

Source: New Scientist | Comments (9)

Tags: Origami, Robot

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Still Waters on 8 August, 2014, 9:28
That's neat!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 8 August, 2014, 10:05
It looks quite sweetie.
Comment icon #3 Posted by danielost on 8 August, 2014, 12:42
It's a transformer.
Comment icon #4 Posted by delton on 8 August, 2014, 12:55
I want one
Comment icon #5 Posted by maximusnow on 8 August, 2014, 14:02
needs work
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever on 8 August, 2014, 16:42
A lot of design went into this for the locomotion to be so poor. Good POC but some thought needs to be given to the "leg" movement. Overall, cool project.
Comment icon #7 Posted by CuriousRey on 8 August, 2014, 21:50
It's a decepticon, kill it!
Comment icon #8 Posted by FollowTheTrail on 8 August, 2014, 21:59
That's nice!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rei4ever on 10 August, 2014, 7:58
The objective is to used it on Earthquakes yet it will really be used for War! Then they shall create GALVATRON!!!

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