A robot made of printable components that self-assemble when “baked” has been developed by researchers at the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT). The ‘bake-your-own robot‘ concept involves heating up 2D plastic printed parts that unfold into three-dimensional components when exposed to high temperatures. Also Read - MIT announces that it is cutting ties with Huawei over Federal investigations
The work of MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Daniela Rus, the baked robots work on the principles of origami to unfold. The mechanical parts include a self-folding strain sensor, which varies electric current passing through it when compressed, and a self-folding actuator. Also Read - MIT developed an AI with Reddit data that now thinks of death and murder
As the parts fold and contract during the heating process, they pull the components together to create a finished robot, working as electromechanical muscles. The concept was unveiled at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong earlier this month. Also Read - Meet Manisha Mohan, who stands at the intersection of technology and the fight against sexual assault
“We have this big dream of the hardware compiler, where you can specify, ‘I want a robot that will play with my cat,’ or ‘I want a robot that will clean the floor,’ and from this high-level specification, you actually generate a working device,” explains Rus.