Friday, August 8, 2014
This can be used for search-and-rescue missions, say in a mine. Or how about self-building shelters in disasters (when it can be scaled up)?
The scientists got the inspiration from origami. They took composite paper and Shrinky Dinks (plastic sheets that contract on baking). A microcontroller heats the hinges, which shrink, pulling the other parts into place.
One of the challenges was clearances--a commercial laser system worked to an imprecise enough level that the heat might touch other parts.
Also Shrinky Dinks are small. Now we need a better Shrinky Dink.
I like typing that: Shrinky Dink.
Pretty neat idea--now to perfect it.