MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has presented to the world the newest edition of their origami robot which they have been developing since 2012. The event took place in Seattle, at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
The tiny origami robot weighs just a bit over a third of a gram and has a distinct new quality that could earn him a place in the hall of fame of the greatest medical inventions ever created. It can be programmed to self destruct once it has completed its task.
But that is not the only thing that the origami robot is able to do, he is also perfectly capable of sliding on a solid surface and the vibrate back up again at a remarkable speed for its size, of swimming in water, of pushing items twice its size and of digging its way through various types of materials.
MIT engineers say that they have not yet completed the final form of the origami robot and that their purpose is to make the device even smaller. So small, that it could in fact be introduced in the human body and take care of what is bothering the patient.
After taking care of the medical problem of the patient, the robot will simply self-destruct and thus complete a full robotic life cycle, making the origami robot, the first kind of robot that can do that.
The current model that was presented, is water-degradable and except for a small magnet, every part of it is destroyed through simple degradation. However, in order to be able to introduce the origami robot safely into the human body, the materials used to build the robot have to be biodegradable and pose no threat to humans.
Scientists working on this project say that their wish is to make the origami robot as self reliant as it can be, so that it can program itself to self-destruct after completing its task. An autonomous navigation system also has to be installed on the robot so that it can choose, on his own, the correct pathway whilst inside the human body.
By creating extremely small robots that possess multiple functions, there will be no more restricted areas on the human body that cannot be reached through a mechanical method of treatment and it will also make bio-research a lot easier for scientists.
Image Source: cbc.ca