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Video: Robotic Cubes Self-Assemble

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Rob Spiegel
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Cool robot parts
Rob Spiegel   10/18/2013 12:11:25 PM
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Interesting new technology, Ann. While this robotic movement now seems raw, in time it may offer a way to control the movement of robots. It will be interesting to see how this technology plays going forward.

Charles Murray
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Re: Cool robot parts
Charles Murray   10/18/2013 5:49:40 PM
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This is amazing. Isn't this a rudimentary form of what the transformers do in the Transformer movies?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Cool robot parts
Rob Spiegel   10/19/2013 5:50:51 PM
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That's a great observation, Chuck. Here's an example of life imitates art. I wonder if that was part of the idea behind this concept. Either way, it's nice to see a new take on robotic movement and control. 

Greg M. Jung
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Imaginative
Greg M. Jung   10/19/2013 10:21:15 PM
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Nice job to the MIT team.  Not only did they take a very different and innovative approach to a new robotics idea, but they also came up with very creative ways to solve the new challenges they faced.  Good job thinking outside of the 'cube'.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cool robot parts
Elizabeth M   10/21/2013 4:16:42 AM
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I read about these on the MIT website...great that you wrote about them, Ann. These self-assembly robots are really interesting and quite versatile. As Rob points out, the movement may seem primitive now, but the fact that they can move and do these things on their own is a great step forward for robotics.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:09:46 PM
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I agree Rob: the technology is very simple-looking, somewhat like a child's blocks. But that apparent simplicity masks a lot of complexity inside each cube. The smoothness of movement itself isn't the point: it's the accuracy that counts.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Cool robot parts
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:11:33 PM
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Well, yes and no, Chuck. Transformers re-configure themselves. These cubes self-assemble first and then reconfigure themselves. In robotics, these are considered different problems to solve, mechanically and algorithmically.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Imaginative
Ann R. Thryft   10/21/2013 1:11:50 PM
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Thanks, Greg, for that play on words! It gave me a chuckle.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Cool robot parts
Rob Spiegel   10/21/2013 4:10:19 PM
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This could be an odd little breakthrough, Ann. While it looks toy-like, the idea of parts coalescing could be the beginning of new robotic applications.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Instant bridge in a natural disaster
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/21/2013 10:51:04 PM
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That is fascinating.  Imagine the future where they might air-drop several thousand of these over an earthquake site, and watch them autonomously build a bridge over rushing flood water. I didn't catch any details on the strength of the elements-to-element bond, in that type of scenario where overall group strength, as a finished colony of blocks into a single structure, would be critical.

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