A Swarm of Origami Robots

Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have another cool demonstration of self folding, origami robots. Last month they reported on a way to assemble a swarm of tiny robots from a single flat sheet [2].

On command, they’ll rip themselves apart from each other, fold themselves up into origami structures, and head off on a mission en masse.” (from [1])


There have been other self folding robots from this lab and elsewhere, but this one shows a way to self assemble a bunch of them at once, from a convenient flat pack delivery. They also use LEDs and photoresistors to control the folding with feedback, which makes the folds much more precise and repeatable.

Very, very cool.

  1. Evan Ackerman, Swarm of Origami Robots Can Self Assemble Out of a Single Sheet, in IEEE Spectrum Automation. 2016, IEEE. http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/harvard-self-folding-origami-robots
  2. Martin E. W. Nisser, Samuel M. Felton, Michael T. Tolley, Michael Rubenstein, and Robert J. Wood, “Feedback-Controlled Self-Folding of Autonomous Robot Collectives, in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016) 2016: Daejeon.


Robot Wednesday

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