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Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife: Reconfigurable Robot a Step Toward Something That Can Become Almost Anything
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The device doesn’t look like much: a caterpillar-sized assembly of metal rings and strips resembling something you might find buried in a home-workshop drawer. But the technology behind it, and the long-range possibilities it represents, are quite remarkable. The little device is called a milli-motein — a name melding its millimeter-sized components and a motorized design inspired by proteins, which naturally fold themselves into incredibly complex shapes. This minuscule robot may be a harbinger of future devices that could fold themselves up into almost any shape imaginable. The device was conceived by Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, visiting scientist Ara Knaian and graduate student Kenneth Cheung, and is described in a paper presented recently at the 2012 Intelligent Robots and Systems conference. Its key feature, Gershenfeld says: “It’s effectively a one-dimensional robot that can be made in a continuous strip, without conventionally moving parts, and then folded into arbitrary shapes.” (via Robotic equivalent of a Swiss army knife: Reconfigurable robot a step toward something that can become almost anything)

Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife: Reconfigurable Robot a Step Toward Something That Can Become Almost Anything

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The device doesn’t look like much: a caterpillar-sized assembly of metal rings and strips resembling something you might find buried in a home-workshop drawer. But the technology behind it, and the long-range possibilities it represents, are quite remarkable. The little device is called a milli-motein — a name melding its millimeter-sized components and a motorized design inspired by proteins, which naturally fold themselves into incredibly complex shapes. This minuscule robot may be a harbinger of future devices that could fold themselves up into almost any shape imaginable. The device was conceived by Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, visiting scientist Ara Knaian and graduate student Kenneth Cheung, and is described in a paper presented recently at the 2012 Intelligent Robots and Systems conference. Its key feature, Gershenfeld says: “It’s effectively a one-dimensional robot that can be made in a continuous strip, without conventionally moving parts, and then folded into arbitrary shapes.” (via Robotic equivalent of a Swiss army knife: Reconfigurable robot a step toward something that can become almost anything)

Notes

  1. mechanikalspielzeug reblogged this from wildcat2030
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  6. frostfang83 reblogged this from wildcat2030 and added:
    Very exciting
  7. papokolips reblogged this from wildcat2030
  8. pedobearpower reblogged this from wildcat2030 and added:
    Oh my god I saw this on vsauce I feel smart now
  9. brandtpileggi reblogged this from wildcat2030
  10. hatsareradical reblogged this from wildcat2030
  11. jonathanracco reblogged this from wildcat2030
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  13. anddesecration reblogged this from wildcat2030 and added:
    Huh.
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  15. geromy-kun reblogged this from irldothewindything
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  17. princeofclockwork reblogged this from cupcakestarlett
  18. effyeah-toast reblogged this from wildcat2030
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  21. joshtronic reblogged this from wildcat2030
  22. dorksfromalternia reblogged this from wildcat2030
  23. positivity-progress reblogged this from wildcat2030 and added:
    This is the first step to having almost anything that is big like a transportation device, etc into a portable device...