MIT seems to be developing all Sky Nets best robots. First they announce their record breaking Cheetah robot can now jump obstacles autonomously. Now they reveal they’ve mastered the art of origami robotics. This robot can be made of simple materials, it can fold itself, walk, swim, and then destroy itself when it’s no longer needed.
The tiny robot, made from a magnet and PVC sandwiched between laser-cut structural layers (polystyrene or paper). Once placed on a heating element the PVC elements contract forming the predetermined shape of the robot.
The way the robot moves by turning on and off a magnetic field that causes the parts of the robot to move in a controllable manner. The motor comes in two parts: a cubic neodymium permanent magnet that the robot folds itself around, and then a set of four electromagnetic coils underneath the surface that the robot operates on to provide the magnetic fields that drive it.
Imagine an army of these little robots, armed with appropriate tech, being used for disaster search and rescue. If they can shrink it down enough, this type of robot could be used inside the human body Innerspace style then dissolve once they’re done with their work. There are just so many great possibilities.