Self Re-assembling Robots
Posted on February 9, 2009 Comments (1)
Cool modular robots can self re-assemble if kicked apart. Shape-shifting robots take form:
DARPA programme manager Mitch Zakin is pursuing what he calls “programmable matter”. These are so-called “mesoscale” mini-machines, a millimetre to a centimetre in size, that can arrange themselves to form whatever shape is desired. Initially, Zakin expects the outcome to be devices the size of small Lego pieces, but as the technology improves the modules and the machines assembled from them should scale down further. Ultimately you could tell a sack of “smart sand” what to do, and the grains would assemble themselves into a hammer, a wrench or even a morphing robotic aircraft. “It’s making machines more like materials, and materials more like machines,” says Daniela Rus, a robotics researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.