AUG 07, 2020 6:39 PM PDT

Origami Microbots

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Using the principles of origami can unlock the power of tiny robots, enhance speed, and control in machinery. 

"We've come up with a new way to design, fabricate and actuate microbots," said Evgueni Filipov, U-M assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. "We've been the first to bring advanced origami folding capabilities into one integrated microbot system." 

Learn more about the principles of origami: 

 

Findings were published in Advanced Functional Materials and discusses how using classic origami principles to support the functionality of microbots. 

"When current passes through the gold layer, it creates heat, and we use heat to control the motions of the microbot," Filipov said. "We drive the initial fold by heating the system, then we unfold by letting it cool down. 

"To get something to fold and stay folded, we overheat the system. When we overheat, we can program the fold -- change where it comes to rest." 

The microbots in the study were controlled by a tether, researchers are hopeful to place an onboard battery and a microcontroller. 

Source: Science Daily  

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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