Awesome, origami robot destroys itself when finished with its mission

Contributed by
Jun 1, 2015

Sure, we’ve all seen the up-and-coming androids and robo-pets — but what about creative robots of the itty-bitty variety? This origami-inspired robot should definitely fit the bill.

Researchers at MIT have developed an extremely small origami robot that can essentially fold to perform different tasks (carry a small load of material, walk, swim, etc.), and it will actually destroy itself when the task is done. Talk about efficient.

As Gizmodo notes, the tiny robot is made from a magnet and pieces of PVC sandwiched between layers of polystyrene or paper. Simple and surprisingly elegant. It works by heating the PVC, which makes it contract and fold around the magnet. Then, once the magnet is exposed to an oscillating magnetic field, it’ll vibrate — which allows the little bot to walk. When it's done, it can walk into some acetone and quietly dissolve away.

Implications are all over the place for something like this, but the report notes it could potentially have some viability to be used as spy tech, or even a (smaller) version could swim around in the human body and make repairs.

Check out the tiny robot in action below and let us know what you think:

(Via Gizmodo, IEEE Spectrum)

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