(Tiny) Reconfigurable Robots at MIT

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.”

Read more at MIT News: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/reconfigurable-robots-turn-into-anything-1130.html

Image credits: MIT Center for Bits and Atoms/Ara Knaian/Jonathan Bachrach.

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25 thoughts on “(Tiny) Reconfigurable Robots at MIT

  1. you did all that …
    you did all that for that piece of shit,,! just kidding, looks ace! just wanned to allways say that 😉 go MIT go? go go!

  2. this is exactly why …
    this is exactly why governments should invest in Science, research such as this has positive offshoots for? an economy

  3. dude i was kidding, …
    dude i was kidding, i’m an engineering major myself, i was just trying to point out how? awesome MIT is that they invented an awesome motor in the process of making something else.

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  6. pretty cool. …
    pretty cool. looking? forward to see what the real world applications could be. hell. even industrial applications would be interesting.

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  8. Anyone else think ” …
    Anyone else think “John Belushi” when they? started watching this video?

  9. when i’m 50 i will …
    when i’m 50 i will feel realy old thinking about this. I mean realy old.. lol my kids would be like dad is that a robot sperm? i’l be? like Dafuq?

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