Avengers, Assemble! That could very well be the rallying cry of MIT’s M-Blocks, which so happen to be a new class of robotic cubes which are aware of one another, and are fully capable of a self assembling process. This is the premise that was explored by the T-1000 in the movie Terminator 2, except that such a cyborg from the future was made out of liquid metal. Well, there is also the Transformers in the science fiction realm as well, where they are a race of humanoid robots that can transform into machines – vehicles especially. Just how far along is humankind to achieving such wonders? MIT’s John Romanishin, Daniela Rus, and Kyle Gilpin could have taken a wee step closer with the M-Blocks self assembling robotic cubes.
These simple yet independent modules are able to separate and recombine at will, letting you have the freedom to design a robot that will sport flexible functionality. The M-Blocks’ movement are self contained, which means there are no external moving parts. This is made possible thanks to a 20,000 RPM flywheel that will impart angular momentum to each cube, letting them make their way across the floor, roll over one another, and even have the ability to leap around. Hence, you get a system that will be able to join together to develop a shape, before breaking apart and assembling into a different shape altogether. Pretty neat, no?