Origami inspires self-folding robot design

Researchers in the US have developed self-folding robots that are able to take shape and walk without any human intervention.

The robots are inspired by the Japanese art of origami.

They are made from layers of materials containing folding hinges. One of these layers is a heat-shrinking polymer, which contracts the folding robot into its 3-D shape upon heating.

In this speeded up video, you can see the robot take shape and move forward, a process that takes about four minutes.

Footage courtesy of S Felton/Harvard University