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This Origami Robot Wants to Shake Up Healthcare – In Style

At ICRA 2015 in Seattle, researchers from MIT showed how their untethered miniature self-folding origami robot walks, swims, digs and degrades. This robot may have applications in the healthcare field some day. The origami robot can assemble itself within the space of a minute and get to work quite quickly. One possible future task for it may be cleaning plaque from arteries.

So why bother making a robot that must fold itself? An origami robot is advantageous because it stores flat. When it is needed, however, a small amount of heat must be applied to the unfolded robot, which is composed of PVC and Laser-cut Polystyrene or Paper layers. The PVC contracts and the robot folds along its creases and becomes ready for action. The folded robot now floats and is able to tackle numerous tasks that would be impossible for its unfolded form.

Also possible in the near future will be integrating self-folding sensors into the body of the robot, which could lead to autonomous operation, and eventually, doing all of this inside a human body.

What Do You Think? What Other Artfully Designed Inventions Have You Seen? What Applications Do You Envision For This Robot?

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