Have you ever seen a robot transform? have you ever seen a robot shed its skin?
Have you ever seen a robot transform? have you ever seen a robot shed its skin?
A small robot that can shed its skin and deform.

Today, let's enjoy a video of origami mini-robot. It's hard to say how practical it is, but it's interesting to think about it.

in the video, you can see "little robots" controlled by magnetic fields walking around, equipped with "exoskeletons" that can perform different functions. These exoskeletons are originally flat, but as long as they are heated, they can be folded spontaneously into the desired shape.

and then these "exoskeletons" can be replaced. As long as you soak yourself in the water, the "little robot" can be separated from the "exoskeleton" as if it were molting. It can also enter the new "exoskeleton".

here is the complete demo video. The original video comes from: MITCSAIL

traditional robots are mostly fixed in structure and function, but now researchers are keen on tinkering with small machines that are deformable or flexible, hoping that they can adapt to more situations more flexibly. A variety of gadgets that can spontaneously fold from a plane to a three-dimensional have been made before, and here, the researchers have taken it a step further.

they use a cube-shaped magnet "robot" as the core, and then put different deformable shells on it. Heating deforms the origami structure, which depends on the heat-shrinkable polymer film in it. After putting on different shells, by controlling the magnetic field, the robot can be remotely controlled to "walk", roll or move into a small boat, or even glide for a short period. If each small robot can only cover one kind of shell, the function is still limited, so the researchers also added the "exuviating" function, so the small robot can take off the original shell and start all over again. This depends on adding water-soluble components to the fixed parts, so that as long as you soak in water, you can separate the shell from the core.

what I think is more interesting is that researchers have been emphasizing that they are inspired by insects. In this paper, the deformation of a small robot is called "metamorphosis" and the shell of an origami structure is called "molting". Even the schematics they draw are very much like the life history of insects

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original paper: http://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/2/10/eaao4369