Scientists at MIT have pulled up a very tiny curtain on their newest invention: a 1.7cm square robot capable of assembling itself like a piece of origami. The Untethered Miniature Origami Robot is powered by a small neodymium magnet and four electromagnetic coils underneath the robot’s surface that create magnet fields necessary for it to operate. The small robot can walk on different surfaces, climb, carry objects twice its own weight, swim in shallow water, burrow, and it even completely dissolves in an acetone solution leaving behind just the magnet.
So what can we do with super tiny self-folding robots? Researchers hope to develop even smaller autonomous robots with additional sensors that can dissolve in water. Such tiny devices could have a variety of medical uses when introduced inside of a human body, maybe zapping cancer cells or cleaning clogged arteries. You can read more about it over at IEEE and in this research paper. (via Laughing Squid)