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Shape-shifting robot made by MIT scientists

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 12/4/12

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Image from a quicklink It may not look like a character from the Transformer franchise, but a tiny robot made in the US is able to change shape.

Built at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it uses magnets to mimic molecules that fold themselves into complex shapes.

The research could lead to robots that could be reconfigured to perform many different tasks.

But one expert said a lot of work was still needed.

Part-funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research was presented at the 2012 Intelligent Robots and Systems conference.

"It's effectively a one-dimensional robot that can be made in a continuous strip, without conventionally moving parts, and then folded into arbitrary shapes," said one of the researchers, Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms.

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At www.bbc.co.uk

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