Changing robot capabilities by using self-folding origami “exoskeletons”
From butterflies that sprout wings to hermit crabs that switch their shells, many animals must adapt their exterior features in order to survive. While humans don’t undergo that kind of metamorphosis, we often try to create functional objects that are similarly adaptive — including our robots.
Despite what you might have seen in “Transformers” movies, though, today’s robots are still pretty inflexible. Each of their parts usually has a fixed structure and a single defined purpose, making it difficult for them to perform a wide variety of actions.
Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are aiming to change that with a new shape-shifting robot that’s something of a superhero: It can transform itself with different “outfits” that allow it to perform different tasks. Continue reading “Changing robot capabilities by using self-folding origami “exoskeletons” (video)”
Expanding polymer enables self-folding without heating or immersion in water
As 3-D printing has become a mainstream technology, industry and academic researchers have been investigating printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated or immersed in water.
In a paper appearing in the American Chemical Society’s journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and colleagues report something new: a printable structure that begins to fold itself up as soon as it’s peeled off the printing platform.
One of the big advantages of devices that self-fold without any outside stimulus, the researchers say, is that they can involve a wider range of materials and more delicate structures. Continue reading “Expanding polymer enables self-folding without heating or immersion in water ( VIDEO)”
4D Printed Self Assembling Shoe, Presented by MIT Researchers. 4D printing takes 3D printing to an entirely different level, essentially enabling the product to assemble itself using materials that respond to a specific stimuli (say, temperature or moisture). Continue reading “4D Printed Self Assembling Shoe, Presented by MIT Researchers (Video)”
Spider silk has long been noted for its graceful structure, as well as its advanced material properties: Ounce for ounce, it is stronger than steel. MIT research has explained some of the material’s mysteries, which could help design synthetic resources that mimic the extraordinary properties of natural silk. Continue reading “MIT researched Spider silk using 3D Printing”