A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany has recently made public a tiny origami robot that can do amazing things before destroying itself.
The super-small robot can do things like folding and unfolding itself, walk around and even carry objects that are much heavier than itself.
The experts who designed and created the origami robot believe that in the future it can be used to help with certain medical procedure. The scientists explained that the robot can perform tasks inside an individual’s body.
The origami robot was unveiled last week at this year’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation. The event was held in Seattle, Washington and was hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The tiny robot was designed and built by the researchers working for MIT’s department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
The origami robot is about 1.7cm long and is very light, weighing no more than one third of a gram.
According to its creators, the robot is made of a neodymium magnet and has layers of polystyrene and PVC.
When the robot is heated, the material out of which the robot is made unfolds and resembles an origami
By exposing the tiny robot at varying degrees, it can achieve a folding process that has numerous stages.
For example, if exposed to low heat, the robot can take one form, and when placed to a higher temperature, it transforms into something else.
The scientists explained how the robot is able to move, saying that instead of having a set of wires, the robot runs on an external magnetic field comprised of four coils that guide it along its path.
The movement of the robot is powered by the magnets cycling on and off at 15 hertz.
The origami robot can do things like walking or rolling, depending on what its task is. If exposed to acetone, the robot disintegrates itself.
According to its designers, they are working on how to make the tiny robot dissolve into water.
They are planning to design and build another version of this robot but with onboard sensors that will allow it to perform different operations by its own.
The scientists hope that one day the origami robot will be used for various medical purposes.
Ideally, the origami robot would be inserted into a patient’s body, navigate through the bloodstream and do medical tasks. After that, the robot would simply dissolve into the individual’s stomach.
Image Source: geek