Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveil M-Blocks 2.0, which are basically modular robots equipped with flywheels inside them that spin at 20,000 rpm. When the blocks come to an abrupt stop, the angular momentum propels them in that direction, which allows them to stack themselves or just flip over. Read more for a video and additional information.
When these swarm together, the embedded magnets in each edge and face allow them to snap together. The ultimate goal is to have these robots work together and build temporary structures, like staircases, for disaster response, or in manufacturing, healthcare and gaming applications.
The unique thing about our approach is that it’s inexpensive, robust, and potentially easier to scale to a million modules. M-Blocks can move in a general way. Other robotic systems have much more complicated movement mechanisms that require many steps, but our system is more scalable,” said John Romanishin, lead author on the study.