back to article Self-assembling robot inches towards WORLD DOMINATION

A presentation at this week's IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Germany showed off a self-assembling printed robot. As the video below shows, the printed robot can self-assemble using the “shape memory” characteristics of the polymers in its construction. The result is something that starts flat and …


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  1. Michael Dunn

    May I be the first to welcome our self-assembling robotic overlords.

    1. Crisp

      This is it

      We're all about to be harvested for our electricity.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ninja business cards

    Once placed in a back pocket this card waits until it detects you driving over 60mph then assembles and bites your ass.

    Of course it also changes the name on the card to that of a rival assassin thereby shifting the blame for the crash.

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Ninja business cards

      My donkey can't gallop that fast no matter how hard I drive it.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Ninja business cards

        'ear 'ear, me ole china. Those bloody septics are gettin' everywhere!

  3. MondoMan

    Anyone else underwhelmed by the video?

    Sounded neat in the text, but the video seemed extremely unimpressive to me. For cool molecular-level self-assembly, look up TMV (not Z!).

    1. Crisp

      Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the video?

      Well you've got to start somewhere.

      Conquering robot armies aren't built in a day you know!

      1. Euripides Pants

        Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the video?

        "Conquering robot armies aren't built in a day you know!"

        Apparently they cannot even get down the alley in a day too!

  4. AndrueC Silver badge

    I'll be back.

    1. hplasm

      I'll be back....

      inches away, slowly...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll be back....

        yes, and the first flying contraption by those f..wits Wright brothers was supersonic and remotely controlled and capable of delivering a "payload" half a world away.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Snarls menecingly "I'm coming for you, boy"

    Very slowly.

  6. Blofeld's Cat

    Early days yet...

    "... with just a little human intervention to add the battery and motor ..."

    Not forgetting a little human intervention to position the folding strips, attach power supplies sequentially, turn it over...

    It's certainly an interesting way of assembling things, and I know it's a prototype, but to call it a self-assembling robot is a bit like saying our local motor parts shop sells self-assembling vehicles.

  7. jubtastic1

    Disposable UAV

    Is the only real use of a pack flat self assembling robot I can think of, so I guess they'll do fine.

  8. Graham Marsden

    Soon, fleshy ones...

    ... soon!

  9. teebie

    It's no iron giant.

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    IKEA furniture bot

    Open box

    Plug in

    Wait for motion to stop

    Rotate interlocks


    1. Martin Budden

      Re: IKEA furniture bot

      There will still be a funny-looking bolt thingy left over.

  11. Brunnen-G

    It't a long way

    towards the selfcollecting robot in the film "Hardware" but we have begun our journey. Be advised!

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