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Self-Assembling 'Autonomous' Robots Build Self and Walk Away 'Without Human Intervention' — Are You Nervous Yet? (Video)

Screen capture from YouTube video.
Screen capture from YouTube video.

By G.P. Thomas
An origami-inspired robot has been developed with the capability to self-assemble into a complex shape in just four minutes - and crawl away afterwards.

The robot, programmed to walk away at a speed of one-tenth of a mile per hour after assembly, was build using surprisingly uncomplicated components, including Shrinky dinks™ and paper.

The research was conducted by a team of engineers and computer scientists including Rob Wood and Sam Felton from the Wyss Institute, SEAS, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has been described in Science.

The research could have a great impact on the design and assembly of robots, with progress in speed, cost and automation. The building process would also be complementary to 3D printing, which is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing.

The team has been designing a number of robots over the last few years, of which this is the first one capable of full self-assembly without the need for any human intervention.

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