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Origami is weighing only a third of a gram, the robot can swim, climb an incline, traverse rough terrain, and carry a load twice its weight.
Made by Shuhei Miyashita and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a 1.7-centimetre-long origami robot made of plastic and containing a magnet can be "programmed" by an external magnetic field.
Other than the self-folding plastic sheet, the robot’s only component is a permanent magnet affixed to its back.
Its motions are controlled by external magnetic fields.
The mini-machine is made of three layers of material.
Thanks to polyvinyl chloride, which contracts when heated, the 3D robot is created from a flat sheet that folds up along cut marks at a temperature of 65 °C.
Using liquid-soluble materials, different versions of the robot can dissolve in either water or acetone, leaving only the permanent magnet behind.