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Self-assembling robots unveiled

Cube-shaped robots that can flip, jump and assemble themselves into different shapes have been unveiled by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Self-assembling robots unveiled The small robots, known as M-Blocks, have no external parts but can move using an internal flywheel mechanism. They stick together using magnets. The scientists envisage miniaturized “swarmbot” versions self-assembling like the “liquid steel” androids in the Terminator films.

More realistically, the researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), believe armies of such cubes could be used for making temporary repairs to bridges or buildings, or as self-assembly, re-configurable scaffolding. Modular robots have the advantage of being able to adapt to whatever task or terrain is presented to them.

John Romanishin, one of the research scientists at CSAIL leading the project, said: “We want hundreds of cubes, scattered randomly across the floor, to be able to identify each other, coalesce, and autonomously transform into a chair, or a ladder, or a desk, on demand.” (BBC News)