Author Topic: Pop-up Fabrication of the Harvard Monolithic Bee (Mobee)  (Read 803 times)

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Pop-up Fabrication of the Harvard Monolithic Bee (Mobee)
« on: February 18, 2012, 05:59:14 AM »
Harvard scientists have invented a method of mass-producing robot insects - creating 'sheets' of tiny robot bees that pop up ready for action.

When activated, a 2.4 millimetre-tall robot insect 'pops up' out of the sheet. The scientists say they aim to create 'swarms' of independently flying robot insects.

The entire product is approximately the size of a U.S. quarter, and dozens of the microrobots could 'pop up' out of a single sheet.

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No footage of this little machine actually flying, but the video illustrates what I see as a far more important aspect; 'the construction technique'.  This new fabrication method may eventually produce all manner of small mechanical assemblages.  I see a desktop constructor in our future. Feed it multi-layer blank stock, send it a program, and have the laser cutter/printer produce your custom widget.   Unlike the 3D printers, which construct stuff from one monolithic material, this technique allows complex multi-material constructs with wiring, hinges, actuators (motors), and other structures.

Wish I had another 50 years to watch the future unfold - or in this case 'fold'. ;) 

I fear not a whit for myself, but I fear to the bottom of my soul for my county's future. -S2S
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