Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New Technique For Mass-Producing Microbots Inspired By Origami

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the here's-your-fold-bot dept.

Robotics 28

Zothecula writes "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books, Harvard engineers have pioneered a means of mass-producing bee-sized flying microrobots. The breakthrough mechanizes the already state-of-the art process of making Harvard's Mobee robots by hand, by mass producing flat assemblies by the sheet which can be folded and assembled in a single movement. The technique, which cunningly exploits existing machinery for making printed circuit boards, can theoretically be applied to a multitude of electromechanical machines."

cancel ×

28 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

great but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072275)

Just how good is a bee that doesn't fly?
I had thousands of those in my garden last winter when my bee colony died. Nice breakfast for the robins is all they were still good for.

Or not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072335)

This kind of bullshit technology is always featured here on fanboi central, but never turns into anything real.

Why don't we focus on what's really important and stop fucking around with these stupid stories?

Bullshit ? (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072381)

This kind of bullshit technology is always featured here on fanboi central, but never turns into anything real.

Bullshit technology?

Never turns into anything real?

Who says it's bullshit? The thing may not be "useful" today, it does not mean the technology can not be adapted to do something very very useful in the future

Re:Bullshit ? (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074679)

Please don't feed the trolls.

Familiar pattern? (4, Interesting)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072457)

This demonstrates low cost mass production. Just add mobility, communication, coordination, and sensing. Drop a swarm of these into any dangerous environment and, voila, instant info. Now, think of GPS surveillance, peeking through walls for IR signatures, drone surveillance aircraft, night vision, ... The first use of microbots will be for military or hazardous waste cleanup or such. But microbots, like their predecessors, will ultimately be used to monitor the general public.

Re:Familiar pattern? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072559)

How about a little ricin? Or some very high grade explosive?

Honestly, why bother with nukes, bombers, aircraft carriers, rail guns etc, when you can simply drop a few canisters of these toys. But wait! Why bother identifing soldiers when you could simply set them to sting ever living being?

Re:Familiar pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072753)

So... Invest in bug-zapping lasers?

Re:Familiar pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073133)

Think bigger -- invest in your _own_ microbots.

Re:Familiar pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078037)

Thing bigger, just enclose your home in a Faraday cage. Something that size wont have a very large battery and/or memory. Then design the internals of your home so that they resemble a complex maze with several loops. If they work hard enough to get your data after that then they can have it...

Re:Familiar pattern? (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078897)

peeking through walls for IR signatures

Dude, not only are wallhacks against the rules, they are very n00bish. Please don't. Or you may be banned.

Re:Familiar pattern? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079159)

Or even better, you could build one of these factories into a robotic dog's head, attach it to Big Dog, and have the world's most perfect anti-intruder system.

One question. (3, Interesting)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072563)

Does that thing fly? And if yes, how are it's flight characteristics?

Re:One question. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073847)

Does that thing fly? And if yes, how are it's flight characteristics?

The current "pop-up" book version was designed to prove the construction technique not really a flight weight vehicle. However a different prototype of theirs had first flight several years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1XA7klBiCA since then they have been working on improving other aspects of the vehicle, speed up manufacture, and rehttp://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/02/17/0335246/new-technique-for-mass-producing-microbots-inspired-by-origami#searching proper control laws to flight something like this stably.

Re:One question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39076013)

However a different prototype of theirs had first flight several years ago.

I'm not sure if the video is lacking, but my definition of flight doesn't include having rails to prevent all movement except vertical.

Skynet should produce more microbots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072663)

Why doesn't Skynet think of mass-producing microbots and nanobots? They would have a greater advantage against the humans.

They should also invest more CPU usage into developing bio-weapons. Machines can't get sick and they don't care about the Geneva nor the Hague conventions, because those only apply to those who sign them.

Construction Process (3, Insightful)

Whibla (210729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072691)

An excellent video (and I do not use the term lightly) showing animations and video footage of the assembly of the Mobee...

echo^^

Harvard has filed numerous patent applications associated with the process, and is working with business to "identify disruptive applications in a range of industries."

While I'm sure there will be anti-patent people saying that since the process is "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books" there's nothing novel or original in it, and prior art should invalidate their patents, for once I'm not sure I agree. I watched the video, and was inspired. Disruptive applications doesn't say the half of it!

Re:Construction Process (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074071)

While I'm sure there will be anti-patent people saying that since the process is "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books" there's nothing novel or original in it, and prior art should invalidate their patents, for once I'm not sure I agree.

I'm sure I disagree. This is novel and new and should be able to be patented. Everything novel and new comes from what came before, "shoulders of giants" and all that. All science, all technology, all art. Everything.

Wasn't it bad enough... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072789)

....when African Bees got released into the wild in N/S America? Now we can have swarms of mass produced robot bees? I'm telling ya, the Mayan's are looking smarter and smarter by the day.

Re:Wasn't it bad enough... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073005)

Smarter for not making robot bees?

Re:Wasn't it bad enough... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073333)

for scheduling the EOTW (as we know it) at the moment of the technological singularity.

Re:Wasn't it bad enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074011)

They're smarter because their calendar was based on the zodiac signs?

MIT Origami (2)

garthsundem (1702946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072831)

Has everyone seen MacArthur winner and MIT prof Erik Demaine's origami [erikdemaine.org] ? Really, a collection of some of the most brilliant things I've ever seen.

Hey I submitted this two days ago! (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073755)

It was downmodded to oblivion in the "recent" section and the editors didn't post it! I guess people didn't like my nose joke, they're so picky!

  wisebabo writes
"Until we have nano bot self replicators* this is a good way to make LOTS of tiny robots cheaply. It leverages our huge technological infrastructure in making 2D chips into 3D bots!

*I guess if you think viruses are nano bots then I guess we already know how to make them already. I was cooking up a batch in my nose just last week!"

Link to Original Source

Re:Hey I submitted this two days ago! (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39082847)

Try writing an objective, informative summary next time. If you want to make nose jokes, make them in the comments.

Synergies with printable technologies (1)

Blackjax (98754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073953)

It is possible to print solar cells [slashdot.org] , electronic circuits [extremetech.com] , capacitors [stanford.edu] , batteries [azom.com] , and antennas [ethiopianreview.com] on flat flexible sheets. It seems to me that if you combined those technologies with this you'd be able to make completely functional robots.

Biomimetic Millisystems Lab (1)

nameer (706715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074019)

Berkeley is doing similarly cool stuff in their Biomimetic Millisystems Lab [berkeley.edu] .

What about Lego ? (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 2 years ago | (#39076113)

I was watching this great documentary yesterday:-
(Megafactories Lego)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxqhi-EWYEk&feature=player_embedded# [youtube.com] !
and it occurred to me that Lego is a very scalable and flexible model for Nanotech... with each element reusable.
There was a factoid, that just eight standard bricks can be reconfigure in millions of different ways...
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>