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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
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