A Folding Robot Developed by Harvard’s Expertise


    The Harvard University expertise and team developed a folding robot as a replacement for endoscopy. The principle of the Japanese art of origami applied by the expertise from the Harvard University, it turns a paper into complex three-dimensional shapes. The co-author Mr. Je-sung Koh said,” Similar to origami, one of the main points of our design is simplicity. This system requires only basic, passive electronic components on the robot to deliver an electric current. The structure of the robot itself takes care of the rest”. The modern robots are thin as well as flat. In some manner, it is similar to origami paper, where three triangles that are connected to a central triangle with the help of hinges and there is a small circuit in the central triangle. The coils are attached to the hinges that would turn back to the original position after being curled by temperature. The coils are made of a metal type called shape-memory alloy. The coils are stretched out of their position when the hinges are flat.

    A current that heats up the coil is passed through the circuit, which turns the robot back to the original. When the process of the current pass is stopped then the triangle back down. The information of the sources stated that the power for the robot is conveyed wirelessly through electromagnetic power transmission. “Not only are our robots’ folding motions repeatable, we can control when and where they happen, which enables more complex movements”, said by the lead Mr. Mustafa Boyvat. The modern invention could be used as a replacement for endoscopy, can prove to be beneficial. A folding robot could also be used for wireless communication among several smart objects in a house. The robots were developed in different sizes. Mr. Mustafa Boyvat said, “There is still room for miniaturization”. He added, “We don’t think we went to the limit of how small these can be, and we’re excited to further develop our designs for biomedical applications”.