The First Real-World Transformer has Been Created

Harvard, MIT, and Cornell researchers have collaborated in creating a self-assembling robot, which looks to me like the first real-world Transformer.

The robot design was inspired by the Japanese art of origami, the folding robot can rearrange itself in minutes from a flat-packed sheet into a strong, motile, structurally complex body plan – without any help from us humans.

Harvard's Robert J. Wood had this to say about it:

"Getting a robot to assemble itself autonomously and actually perform a function has been a milestone we've been chasing for many years."

Cornell physicist and study collaborator Itai Cohen added:

"You can imagine a folded sheet of some material and popping in defects to make a stiff shield, or somehow deploying an object and giving it a rigid backbone. You can think of it as appendages that can be locked in place or a useful tool whose properties can be set once it has been deployed…. It is amazing that there are so many hidden scientific research problems buried in just a simple sheet of paper."

The robot only costs about $100 bucks to make. There's $80 for the motors, batteries and power controller, and about $20 for the body. What's great about the body is that it is made out of paper and Shrinky Dinks. You can read more about the project here. Thanks to io9!

Featured Posts on GeekTyrant