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US Researchers Develop Battery-Less Foldable Robots | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Self-folding robots that have been inspired by the Japanese art form of origami. (AFP)

San Francisco, London – A team of US researchers has reached a new technique to develop foldable robots based on the Japanese paper folding art known as “origami”.

The manufacture of traditional robots generally requires onboard batteries or a wired connection to a power source, which limit their functions.

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field.

Science Daily website reported study co-author Je-sung Koh as saying: “This system requires only basic, passive electronic components on the robot to deliver an electric current, and the structure of the robot itself takes care of the rest.”

The robot is composed of three outer triangles connected to the central triangle by hinges, and a small circuit on the central triangle.

The power that creates the electrical current needed for the robots’ movement is delivered wirelessly using electromagnetic power transmission, the same technology inside wireless charging pads that recharge the batteries in cell phones and other small electronics.

Lead author Mustafa Boyvat, fellow at the Wyss Institute said: “Not only are our robots’ folding motions repeatable, but we can control when and where they happen, which enables more complex movements.”