Called the Festo SmartInversion, this strange, helium-filled flying machine is unlike any other, because it’s “a six-sided articulated ring of prisms that attaches to a cube, and when it’s unleashed, it can start folding into new geometric shapes; as it turns itself inside out, it moves forward.” Continue reading for a video.

New Scientist reports that it’s held together by a carbon-fiber framework, and three motors control its motion, governed by a pre-programmed onboard computer. Designers at Festo, also known for their nature-inspired robots, are now sponsoring a competition for students to figure out some practical uses for this thing.

[Sources 1 | 2]


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