Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Hardware Technology

New Technique For Mass-Producing Microbots Inspired By Origami 28

Posted by samzenpus
from the here's-your-fold-bot dept.
Zothecula writes "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books, Harvard engineers have pioneered a means of mass-producing bee-sized flying microrobots. The breakthrough mechanizes the already state-of-the art process of making Harvard's Mobee robots by hand, by mass producing flat assemblies by the sheet which can be folded and assembled in a single movement. The technique, which cunningly exploits existing machinery for making printed circuit boards, can theoretically be applied to a multitude of electromechanical machines."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Technique For Mass-Producing Microbots Inspired By Origami

Comments Filter:
  • Familiar pattern? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) on Friday February 17, 2012 @07:20AM (#39072457)
    This demonstrates low cost mass production. Just add mobility, communication, coordination, and sensing. Drop a swarm of these into any dangerous environment and, voila, instant info. Now, think of GPS surveillance, peeking through walls for IR signatures, drone surveillance aircraft, night vision, ... The first use of microbots will be for military or hazardous waste cleanup or such. But microbots, like their predecessors, will ultimately be used to monitor the general public.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      How about a little ricin? Or some very high grade explosive?

      Honestly, why bother with nukes, bombers, aircraft carriers, rail guns etc, when you can simply drop a few canisters of these toys. But wait! Why bother identifing soldiers when you could simply set them to sting ever living being?

    • peeking through walls for IR signatures

      Dude, not only are wallhacks against the rules, they are very n00bish. Please don't. Or you may be banned.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Or even better, you could build one of these factories into a robotic dog's head, attach it to Big Dog, and have the world's most perfect anti-intruder system.

  • One question. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Friday February 17, 2012 @07:53AM (#39072563) Homepage
    Does that thing fly? And if yes, how are it's flight characteristics?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Does that thing fly? And if yes, how are it's flight characteristics?

      The current "pop-up" book version was designed to prove the construction technique not really a flight weight vehicle. However a different prototype of theirs had first flight several years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1XA7klBiCA since then they have been working on improving other aspects of the vehicle, speed up manufacture, and rehttp://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/02/17/0335246/new-technique-for-mass-producing-microbots-inspired-by-origami#searching proper control laws to flight something lik

  • by Whibla (210729) on Friday February 17, 2012 @08:17AM (#39072691)

    An excellent video (and I do not use the term lightly) showing animations and video footage of the assembly of the Mobee...

    echo^^

    Harvard has filed numerous patent applications associated with the process, and is working with business to "identify disruptive applications in a range of industries."

    While I'm sure there will be anti-patent people saying that since the process is "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books" there's nothing novel or original in it, and prior art should invalidate their patents, for once I'm not sure I agree. I watched the video, and was inspired. Disruptive applications doesn't say the half of it!

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      While I'm sure there will be anti-patent people saying that since the process is "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books" there's nothing novel or original in it, and prior art should invalidate their patents, for once I'm not sure I agree.

      I'm sure I disagree. This is novel and new and should be able to be patented. Everything novel and new comes from what came before, "shoulders of giants" and all that. All science, all technology, all art. Everything.

  • ....when African Bees got released into the wild in N/S America? Now we can have swarms of mass produced robot bees? I'm telling ya, the Mayan's are looking smarter and smarter by the day.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Smarter for not making robot bees?

      • by ch-chuck (9622)

        for scheduling the EOTW (as we know it) at the moment of the technological singularity.

  • Has everyone seen MacArthur winner and MIT prof Erik Demaine's origami [erikdemaine.org]? Really, a collection of some of the most brilliant things I've ever seen.
  • by wisebabo (638845) on Friday February 17, 2012 @10:23AM (#39073755) Journal

    It was downmodded to oblivion in the "recent" section and the editors didn't post it! I guess people didn't like my nose joke, they're so picky!

      wisebabo writes
    "Until we have nano bot self replicators* this is a good way to make LOTS of tiny robots cheaply. It leverages our huge technological infrastructure in making 2D chips into 3D bots!

    *I guess if you think viruses are nano bots then I guess we already know how to make them already. I was cooking up a batch in my nose just last week!"

    Link to Original Source

  • It is possible to print solar cells [slashdot.org], electronic circuits [extremetech.com], capacitors [stanford.edu], batteries [azom.com], and antennas [ethiopianreview.com] on flat flexible sheets. It seems to me that if you combined those technologies with this you'd be able to make completely functional robots.
  • Berkeley is doing similarly cool stuff in their Biomimetic Millisystems Lab [berkeley.edu].

  • I was watching this great documentary yesterday:-
    (Megafactories Lego)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxqhi-EWYEk&feature=player_embedded# [youtube.com]!
    and it occurred to me that Lego is a very scalable and flexible model for Nanotech... with each element reusable.
    There was a factoid, that just eight standard bricks can be reconfigure in millions of different ways...

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

Working...