Will robots be able to rule the world that we know one day? Perhaps, or perhaps not, but what we do know is this – the world of robotics has certainly advanced by a fair bit for humanity to arrive at where it is today. Apparently, at a presentation at this week’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Germany, there was a self-assembling printed robot being put on show, where this printed robot is smart enough to assemble itself by relying on the “shape memory” characteristics of the polymers in its construction. Hmmm, sounds suspiciously like the brains behind it were inspired by the Transformers, no? Of course, there is no Allspark to bring this bit of silicone and circuitry to life, and neither is magic involved, just good old technology.
The end result would be something that starts off as flat, where throwing in a bit of human intervention, you are able to see both battery and motor work together to have it end up in a shape which is capable of movement ala inchworm, as it goes about bending and straightening its body. Researchers of this robot, Samuel Felton, Michael Thomas and Robert Wood from Harvard and Cagdas Onal and Daniela Rus from MIT, claimed that this unique robot was able to fold itself “into its functional form with fold angle deviations within six degrees”. Could we eventually see a transforming breath analysis robot soon?
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