Having been modeled after a variety of organisms (or their parts), robots come in all shapes and sizes but researchers at MIT now report that they’ve designed their robots after the very structures that make up living cells: proteins. Dubbed the Millimeter-Scale Motorized Protein or Milli-Motein, the tiny robots are able to change from extended chains to various 3D folded shapes in seconds.
But the really impressive feature is that the robots keep their shape even after power has been removed, thanks to a new kind of motor the team developed.
Each chain consists of 1-cm units that connect together, just as amino acids link up to make a protein, with a continuous flex circuit that controls power and communication to the device. Currently, the motor in each segment is able to lift only one other segment, but the researchers are already working on extending this to two segments.
The video put out by MIT shows how the snake-like robot can adopt and hold different configurations:
Read the complete article at Singularity Hub.