With just a wave of a magnet, the robots can roll, jump, and crawl around in confined spaces. In the future, the MIT team hopes to build a stronger, more intelligent version of this robot that can be used for tasks such as medical procedures or cleaning up radioactive waste.
Each robot is designed with a unique shape and structure to match its function. A 3-D printer then uses a silicone-based rubber material to bring that design to life. The printing technique has been crucial to the robots’ design, says Zhao, because it allows magnetic microparticles to be deliberately embedded throughout the material.
A computer program aligns each microparticle in a specific direction in a certain part of the robot, which allows magnetic force to trigger a desired response. For simple functions, Zhao is able to power the robots simply by waving a magnet over them. For more complex tasks, he says, the robots will need to operate inside a magnetized chamber that can apply pull simultaneously in different directions.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.