Smart Jumping M-Blocks!
MUST see–Smart self-assembling M-blocks that jump over each other to build a larger structure.
Daniela Rus and her students at MIT designed robotic cubes with no external parts. Inside each cube is a flywheel that throws its weight around, generating angular momentum. The momentum propels the cube in a programmed direction. But the cube has a magnet on each edge. So the edges connect, while the cube roles over and snaps into place. Or else it can jump two blocks away to snap down.
In principle, the cubes could possess their own instructions and assemble themselves into a much larger structure.
Rus is the director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Her group builds robots “that can tend a garden, bake cookies from scratch, cut a birthday cake, fly in swarms without human aid to perform surveillance functions — and dance with humans.”