Nonprofit research institute SRI International is working on incredibly small robots that are operated magnetically and can work together to create larger structures as part of the DARPA Open Manufacturing program. SRI produced a video showing the micro-robots zooming about thanks to magnetic fields from printed circuit boards and constructing a cubic truss. More on the robots is available via SRI’s website.
magine being able to harness the power of an army of ants to assemble large-scale products quickly and precisely from heterogeneous materials in today’s manufacturing environments. SRI’s patented Diamagnetic Micro Manipulation (DM3) technology uses printed circuit boards (PCBs) to drive and control micro-robots built from simple, low-cost magnets that are propelled electromagnetically. This could enable cost-effective production of large numbers of micro-robots that can reliably handle a wide variety of solid and liquid materials—including electronics.
via IEEE Spectrum