Tiny Insect-Robots assemble themselves like Popup-Books

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Das Robotlab in Harvard hat „faltbare“ Roboterbausätze gebastelt, dank derer man in einem einzigen Produktionsprozess dutzende der Bots herstellen kann und die sich danach in einer Falt-Bewegung wie ein Popup-Buch selbst aus dem Bausatz zusammenbauen. Und in zwei oder drei Jahren drucken wir unsere eigenen Popup-Bots mit nem 3D-Printer zuhause.

A technique inspired by pop-up books could enable quicker production of tiny robots and other electrical devices, according to Harvard engineers. Usually, building a micro aerial vehicle — or any other robot — requires a painstaking assembly process, with each little wing or sensor folded and machined just so. Now it can come together in a single fold.

It works by combining all the robots’ component layers, sandwiching each piece of metal or carbon fiber into a single sheet. First each layer is laser-etched into the proper design, and the sheets are laminated together. The end result is a hexagonal sheet with a small assembly scaffold, with the whole thing the size of a U.S. quarter.

The entire assembly has 137 folding joints. The assembly scaffold, which has folds of its own, performs 22 origami-style folds, resulting in a fully formed robot you can pop out and turn on — in this case, it's the Harvard Monolithic Bee, or Mobee.

With New Technique, Tiny Robots Can Be Mass-Produced Like Pop-Up Books, hier der Original-Artikel bei Harvard: In new mass-production technique, robotic insects spring to life: Production method inspired by children's pop-up books enables rapid fabrication of tiny, complex devices