An untethered miniature origami robot that self-folds, walks, swims, and degrades has been created by a team of the department of informatics, Technische Universitat in Germany and the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at MIT!
Unfolded, the robot has a magnet and PVC sandwiched between laser-cut structural layers (polystyrene or paper). When placed on a heating element, the PVC contracts, and where the structural layers have been cut, it creates folds – so this is how the origami part works. Kelsey Atherton in Popular Science, said, “Underneath it all, hidden like the Wizard of Oz behind his curtain, sit four electromagnetic coils, which turn on and off and makes the robot move forward in a direction set by its shape.”
The authors also wrote such autonomous ‘4D-printed’ robots could be used at unreachable sites, including those encountered in both in vivo and bionic biological treatment. read more here
Now I’m seeing swarms, floating down on a disaster zone like a helpful blizzard.