COULD SELF-ASSEMBLING ORIGAMI ROBOTS TRANSFORM MEDICINE? 


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made dexterous objects just a centimetre long and a third of a gram in weight, that could offer a glimpse into the potential for robotics to aid medical research. Each of the robots, following printing, self assembles and navigates around obstacles on land and in water with the purpose being for these lively structures to be used as a controllable drug capsule or help execute surgeries. 

The robot forms itself on the spot and disappears by degradation, the robot self-assembles using a folding process triggered by heating it can then travel along designated trajectories, carry objects, clear obstacles, swim and execute a variety of tasks before dissolving its body into a liquid. 

The robot's body has a small magnet embedded in it which allows us to control the robot by programming a magnetic field. Origami inspired designs have the potential to be faster, cheaper and easier to design than current intervention systems. Due to their small scale, they can travel through intricate pipelines that are difficult to inspect with today's technology. 

When the technology is ready for implementation, the possibilities for doctors will be endless—robots will be able to deliver medicine, patch wounds and remove foreign objects from the body. 

Learn more about the robots at: https://aeon.co/videos/could-these-printable-self-assembling-origami-robots-transform-medicine

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