This Self-Folding Robot Will Curl Up When Exposed To Heat

Aadhya Khatri - Dec 26, 2019


This Self-Folding Robot Will Curl Up When Exposed To Heat

The robot looks like a metal sheet but when the heat is applied, it will turn into a three-dimensional structure

This new type of robot can be of great help for search-and-rescue missions. What they do is to curl up when the temperature increases. The robot looks like a metal sheet but when the heat is applied, it will turn into a three-dimensional structure.

They could be made in small sizes and to react to elements like moisture, temperature, and light. After it curls up, the robot can be used for transportation in confined space.

Kirigami-robot
They could be made in small sizes and to react to elements like moisture, temperature, and light

The robot has three layers. The two on the outside are heat resistant to make sure that it does not react to the outside temperature, while the last layer on the inside is a kind of polymer that contracts when exposed to heat.

2D templates following the same through-cut patterns can be made to form several distinctive 3D structures. All the scientists have to do is to change the etching. So in other words, the kirigami robots are programmable.

The first model is made to be able to grip. The design is still at an infant stage of development but it can slip itself into confined and hard-to-reach places.

robot-confined-places
The robot is still at an infant stage of development but it can slip itself into confined and hard-to-reach places

The advancement of this study can allow for robots with even more practical applications. Back in October, a soft and flexible robot was introduced. It can slim down in size by releasing the fluid pump.

The team behind this invention said that all kinds of materials can be used for the inner layer of this folding robot. Polymer works well in tests but photoactive liquid crystals and other reactive materials can be used too. The team will further develop its concept to find more applications.

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