Making robots that can change shape

Robot can change shapeWhoa – Terminator’s ability to melt down and reappear is not so much science fiction any more. This week MIT announced that it has developed a material that can be either rigid or soft depending on whether it is hot or cold and whether it is coated or uncoated.

This is a great example of how academic-industry collaborations can work well. The changeling-robot research was done by academics at MIT and industry professionals at Boston Dynamics. It was funded by the US government under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

They plan to build a robot that can heat up its own joints to change its shape. That way the robot could get into tight places where humans can’t fit – like a cat or an octopus. But there are so many other possibilities for this material. For example, it could be used to build a lab machine that could perform many different functions depending on how it was configured.

How cool!

More info here.

One thought on “Making robots that can change shape

Add yours

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: