The future of robots could be tiny origami bots that fold into different shapes

Guanhong Hu for Quartz:  One huge reason why the characters in the Transformers sci-fi movie series are invincible is that they, well, transform themselves into different shapes to add multiple functions.

But in the real world, changing the inherent capabilities of robots through metamorphosis has long been a conundrum for robotics engineers because of the physical constraints of the robot body. Each component of a robot has a defined function and can be lost if modified.

As a result, self-reconfiguring robots today don’t work very well, doomed by the need for complex coordination and super-sophisticated circuit boards. Either engineers devote a lot of money and time, or they end up with a really big apparatus.

But scientists from MIT and University of York have recently developed a solution that sidesteps many of these problems: an exoskeleton for robots.  Full Article:

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