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September 8, 2015 AT 4:00 am

Origami Robot Folds Itself And Walks

Origami inspired robots fold themselves into action. via new scientist

It’s a real Transformer. A flat chunk of butterfly-shaped plastic magically folds itself into the shape of a four-legged robot – and then, astonishingly, walks off using its own power source.

Built by a team led by microrobotics engineers Sam Felton and Robert Wood at Harvard University in Massachusetts, the robot gets its basic flat-pack form from the Japanese art of paper folding – origami.

By choosing flat shapes that will unfold into forms that produce movable legs – a subset of the art called rigid origami – the team simply had to work out how to get its morphing machine to automatically unfold and crawl.

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