Superstar

These Mini Robots are Able to Assemble Themselves

By: Emilie Picillo - Published: Oct 8, 2013 • References: web.mit.edu and web.mit.edu
These mini robots called ‘M-Blocks’ are able to assemble themselves. John Romanishin of MIT originally pitched this design that initially seemed impossible. These cubes have no external moving parts and yet, are able to spin and jump, reassembling themselves in different arrangements and shapes.

They leap through the air, roll across the ground and suspend themselves upside-down from metallic surfaces. Inside each block there is a flywheel that can reach speeds of 20,000 revolutions per minute. When the flywheel is braked, it imparts its angular momentum to the cube. There are permanent magnets on every face of the block that allow any two cubes to attach to each other. As this study advances these cubes can arrange themselves into working objects. These blocks are a groundbreaking scientific discovery that is inspiring to many challenging experiments.