Magnetic Shape Shifters

Photo credit: Felice Frankel

MIT engineers have created soft, magnetic 3-D-printed structures that can transform their shape almost instantaneously by the wave of a magnet, enabling them to crawl, roll, jump, as well as play catch. These innovative structures are flexible, yet strong and could one day be used to develop remotely controlled biomedical devices. “We think in biomedicine this technique will find promising applications. For example, we could put a structure around a blood vessel to control the pumping of blood, or use a magnet to guide a device through the GI tract to take images, extract tissue samples, clear a blockage, or deliver certain drugs to a specific location. You can design, simulate, and then just print to achieve various functions,” said Xuanhe Zhao, the Noyce Career Development Professor in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Click here for the first image in today’s viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of eight egg gadgets put to the test.

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