Friday, March 24

These little cubic robots can change shape in space | Digital Trends Spanish

A group of scientists from MIT and the University of Calgary developed an innovative modular robotic system capable of taking different forms. According to the researchers, the ElectroVoxels do not have motors or moving parts, but instead each robot uses electromagnets to move around each other.

Each side of the ElectroVoxel is only about 60 millimeters, and when you change the polarity of a magnet, the edges either attract or repel each other. This allows the cubes to change orientation. Meanwhile, the electronics inside each cube control the direction of the electromagnet’s current.


Software allows researchers to control up to a thousand ElectroVoxels. Thus, users can tell the blocks to take different shapes and be able to move from one point to another.

The scientists also proved that ElectroVoxels can work in low-gravity environments. For the same reason, they believe that their invention could be used to create and alter structures in space.

A researcher manipulates the small ElectroVoxels.

According to Martin Nisserm, lead author of the research:

“While the potential benefits in space are particularly great, the paradox is that the favorable dynamics that microgravity provides means that some of those problems are also easier to solve: In space, even the smallest forces can make things go wrong. big ones move”, he explained.

Scientists believe that, if successful in space, this technology could also be used on our planet. “By applying this technology to solve real short-term problems in space, we can hopefully incubate the technology for future use on Earth as well,” adds Nisserm.

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