Researchers unveil incredible shapeshifting robot designed to help astronauts

A team of researchers has showcased an origami-inspired robot designed to assist astronauts in tight-knit or cramped environments in space.

1 minute & 23 seconds read time

A team of engineers has unveiled a unique robot design that's similar to origami as it can fold and change its shape.

Mori3 showcasing movement

Astronauts heading to the Moon may be joined by shapeshifting robots called Mori Modular Robot for Space, or Mori3 for short. The team of engineers from EPFL's School of Engineering has taken to its website to announce the new research has been published in Nature Machine Intelligence, and that the idea behind the Mori3 is to create a shapeshifting robot that can be easily assembled for specific functions. The origami-like robot features individual triangular modules that can be joined together to make polygons of various sizes.

The robots can be delivered to the Moon via a flatpack, making storage easy. According to the announcement, Mori3 robots are able to achieve three necessities a lunar robot should do; move around, handle and transport objects, and the ability to interact with human users. The researchers behind the Mori3 acknowledge that robots designed for specific tasks will be much more efficient, but hope the Mori3's versatility will make it an attractive option, especially for astronauts that need to complete tasks in confined and sometimes cramped spaces.

"Polygonal and polymorphic robots that connect to one another to create articulated structures can be used effectively for a variety of applications. Of course, a general-purpose robot like Mori3 will be less effective than specialized robots in certain areas. That said, Mori3's biggest selling point is its versatility," says Jamie Paik, director of the Reconfigurable Robotics Lab and leader of researchers that created the Mori3.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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