Robots and Robotics are always been a charming field to everyone common man. The idea that machine or robot can do the entire task what a human orders makes person full of joy and happiness. Ever since the field of robotics is developed some or the other innovation are keep on going. But now it’s very fresh invention has taken Robotic to a different level.
It was not thought that it could happen. But yes, it is a fact now. A research team from MIT has done the impossible come true. They created self assembling modular robots. They have even launched a video demonstrating their work. A research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory John Romanishin, robotics professor Daniela Rus and post-doc candidate Kyle Gilpin showed the demonstration regarding the concept at the IEEE/ RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Although two years back Romanishin was told by Rus that his concept of self assembly robot is not realistic.
The robot, called M-blocks consists of flywheel which can obtain a speed up to 20,000 rpm. M stands for “modular” which means they can assemble themselves. Even a jet engine piston turns at the rate of 2000-3000 rpm and a nuclear centrifuge gets a speed of 90,000 rpm. So we can say that M-blocks have a good speed range. When flywheel breaks its angular momentum is conveyed to the cube. Each cube’s edge is equipped with a specialized magnet. The cubes combined together with the magnet to let themselves stick together. The cubes can form themselves into desired shape guided by the expert and are more particular than other strong robots like walkers or rovers.
This works in a path to make the self-assembling modularity of M-blocks, allowing them to climb, leap, fly through the air and align in different arrangements. The force from the flywheel is so strong that cubes fling themselves over other objects. They even jump over other blocks and potentially navigate eternal obstacles. Sharp edges on the cubes improve the strength of the magnetism as the cubes rotate over each other to create their new positions.
The researchers thought to invent swarms of self-assembling robots for a variety of applications like constructing bridges or making scaffolding systems or other useful projects related to instant furniture like night stands, table, chair, desk etc. or giving a massage or foot rest. It has tremendous useful applications for users. The team said that their main aim is to develop self-assembling and self-reconfiguring robot systems. These are modular robots with the capability of altering their geometry in accordance to job and this is thrilling because a robot designed for a single work has a predetermined architecture. Though this robot will perform a single task well but it will perform poorly on a different task in a distinct environmental conditions.
Scientists estimate that the next big step in the field of robotics is to make self-assembly robot more automatic and systematic. Further this type of robot can control and define a shape and tell cubes how to form its own structure for that particular task. The self assembling, intelligent robot cubes innovated by the team of MIT researchers will make us one step close to the real world transformers. Science and technology keeps on telling us that we are living in a cyberpunk world. In the coming future there will be a time when the robots will assemble themselves, resolve the problem according to situation, will take self decisions, help humans in different problems and will be a boon for the society.