MIT Creates Amazing Self-Folding Origami Robots & Leaping Cheetah Robots

Last Thurs­day, MIT released two stag­ger­ing­ly cool videos. And I don’t think I’m being hyper­bol­ic in say­ing that. Above we have a robot­ic chee­tah that’s “trained” to “see and jump over hur­dles as it runs — mak­ing this the first four-legged robot to run and jump over obsta­cles autonomous­ly.” The chee­tah knows when to jump by using LIDAR — “a visu­al sys­tem that uses reflec­tions from a laser to map ter­rain.” MIT News has more on the tech behind this cre­ation.

Mak­ing almost equal­ly big news is anoth­er MIT inven­tion — a minia­ture origa­mi robot that self-folds, walks, swims, and degrades. As the elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing web­site IEEE Spec­trum explains:

The unfold­ed robot, which is made of a mag­net and PVC sand­wiched between laser-cut struc­tur­al lay­ers (poly­styrene or paper), weighs just 0.31 g and mea­sures 1.7 cm on a side. Once placed on a heat­ing ele­ment, the PVC con­tracts, and where the struc­tur­al lay­ers have been cut, it cre­ates folds.…

Once you’re done mess­ing around, you can dri­ve the robot into a tank of ace­tone and it will entire­ly dis­solve.

One day, if things go accord­ing to plan, these crea­tures will become small enough to per­form impor­tant med­ical tasks with­in your body, and then when they’re done, poof, they’ll be gone. And you’ll have an MIT researcher part­ly to thank.

via Men­tal Floss

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