Developers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a micro-robot that can transform and change functions from rolling and reeling, pushing to flying.
That particular robot, called the Primer, is made from stretched plastic polymers. It can change shape as the temperature rises and is controlled by magnets.
Initially, each Primer was an exoskeleton (biological robot) in the form of a plastic sheet. But when combined with a magnetic controller, the exoskeleton can transform into many other polymorphs, such as a drum, a small boat, or even a roller coaster.
The plastic sheets are designed on computers, using the art of origami paper folding to ensure accuracy when starting to transform. Each plate is designed for a specific purpose.
Currently, Primer cannot operate by itself. The researchers still have to remote control so they can move to the required locations.
In the initial test, Primer took up to three minutes to shape the boat moving underwater.
In the future, Primer continues to be improved to improve the speed of movement, the ability to carry, push objects, automate, and can use many shapes at the same time in specific tasks.
The research on Primer has been published in Science Robotics recently.