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Pentagon’s Shape-Shifting Bot Folds Into Boat, Plane (amazing video)

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posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 03:24 PM

Even for the Pentagon’s science-fiction division, it seemed like a stretch. But in 2007, Darpa really did launch an effort to build programmable matter that could reconfigure itself on command. Then, two years later, Harvard and MIT researchers really did make progress building “self-folding origami” that just might be able to twist themselves into different shapes

Self-folding Origami:

Video link:

Yesterday, Darpa-backed electrical engineers at the two schools released the stunning results: a shape-shifting sheet of rigid tiles and elastomer joints that can fold itself into a little plane or a boat on demand. It’s “a first step towards making everyday objects whose mechanical properties can be programmed,” Harvard’s Robert Wood says in a statement.

The sheet, less than a half-millimeter thick, “is studded with thin foil actuators and flexible electronics. The demonstration material contains 25 total actuators, divided into five groupings. A shape is produced by triggering the proper actuator groups in sequence,” the statement explains.

The shape-shifter takes a four-step approach to figures out how to rearrange itself. Step one: Take a 3-D model of a completed origami shape, and then reverse-engineer it to see what kind of “folding paths” are needed to get there. Step two: Take that information to “produc[e] a discrete folding plan” for each tile group, Wood and his fellow researchers note in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The third algorithm receives each of the individual plans [and] assembles them onto one sheet…. Finally, the fourth algorithm chooses the optimum arrangement [to] minimize either the number of actuators or number of actuator groups.”From there, the thin little machine gets to transforming itself. In Darpa’s dreams, this work will eventually lead to everything from morphing aircraft to self-styling uniforms to a “universal spare part.”


All I can say is WOW. Just the beginning but WOW. I can only imagin where they go with this invention/tech. Transformers, here we come.... I wonder how much time will pass before this stuff gets life size and we start seeing it as common place.

There is a little more additional info in the story link that is in the article itself-if you wish.

Good Job Darpa!!!! Keep it up!!!

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 03:44 PM

was about to post this myself

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by anon72

Nice thread. I think the good kind of programmable mater will be made of nanobots. You will be able to remodel your house at the touch of a button... poof, walls will reconfigure, coffee tables will pop out of 'nowhere'. Just like the replicator enemies of ' Star Trek: Voyager ', except without the homicidal A.I. .

edit to add: On second thought maybe it was Stargate: SG1 that had the replicator nanobots.

[edit on 07/17/2009 by Mumbotron]

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by Mumbotron

Yes on all. This particular video got me thinking-of crazy possibilities. But, the one draw back on any idea..... is the human factor. The human body won't be able to contort, in that I don't think any part of the item would be a safe place.

Maybe in fanasty land-but not as we know about the body now. But, one never knows. We humans... we smart ones..

posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 05:29 AM
reply to post by OmegaLogos

Thank you for the info.

What does this mean? Personal Disclosure:

posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 10:59 AM
Hm...So after 63 years they made the Roswell UFO technology partially public. Wow. Just wow. Anyways, it was about time. Thanks for the heads up.

posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 01:38 PM
I just saw this story on Drudge (put there this afternoon). Remember, you heard it hear first....

They has shape shifting tech at Area 51 from 63 years ago? Come on now.....Cybernet...

posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 01:49 PM
There was a piece in this month's scientific american about unmanned robots, and one of them was a blob that can fit into cracks and holes in walls and monitor conversations and whatnot...

posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 01:59 PM
Lol @ people thinking this is alien technology from roswell.

This doesn't look TOO groundbreaking.. I'd be very disappointed if this were alien technology

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