Tiny Robot Can Turn Itself Into Almost Anything


Imagine if you had one device that could naturally crumple and contort itself into anything from a coffee mug to a pair of scissors.

The milli-motien, a Caterpillar-sized robot that, in theory, is capable of folding into almost any 3-D shape imaginable brings us closer to that idea. 

The robot, developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is actually a one-dimensional continuous string of identical modules. The modules work together to form different shapes. 

“Every module gets its instructions to turn left, right, or straight. That’s like the DNA code for the shape,” graduate student Ara Knaian explains in a demonstration video, from MIT. “And then the motors fold the chain up into the shape.”

Learn more about the reconfigurable robot in the video below:  

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