For those who thought that the Transformers cartoon and movie franchise was based purely on imagination will think twice after reading about a new technique created by Havard University. Researchers have found a way to form, deform and reform 3D materials in dozens of ways, recalling the capabilities of Optimus Prime and company.
These transforming 3D materials was inspired by snapology, a type of modular origami using folded paper ribbons snapped together to form 3-D shapes. Using similar shapes and combining them using pneumatic actuators -- air-powered hinges -- these 3D materials can shift with ease. As for practical use in the real world, Fast Company poses to its readers, "Imagine an enclosed stadium that, without electricity, could open up its roof when it was sunny."