Origami-inspired robot that can fold itself and crawl away

Last Updated: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 13:22

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Have you ever imagined a robot that change shapes by folding itself up just like Origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding?

The new kind of robot is made from composite paper and equipped with motors and batteries.
In a latest innovation, researchers at MIT and Harvard University made a robot almost entirely from parts produced by a laser cutter. It folds itself as soon as batteries are attached to it and scuttles away like a crab.
The robot has been built from five layers of materials, all cut according to digital specifications by a laser cutter. The middle layer has copper, etched into an intricate network of electrical leads. It`s sandwiched between two structural layers of paper; the outer layers are composed of a shape-memory polymer that folds when heated. After the laser-cut materials are layered together, a microprocessor and one or more small motors are attached to the top surface. In the prototype, that attachment was done manually, but it could instead be performed by a robotic "pick and place" system.

Each robot costs about $100 but one can get it for $20 without the motors, batteries and microcontrollers attached to it.
Such robots can be used for a variety of purpose like space exploration and even for search and rescue operations.

The report is published in the issue of Science.

(With Agencies input)

First Published: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 10:33

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