Interesting tiny robots that are made from a single PCB that is then cut and folded. They can also cooperate with each other to perform group tasks.
Tribot looks like a tiny circuit board because that's what it largely is, but there are some significant additions to the circuitry. One is a small lithium polymer battery, which means all the power for its motions and circuits are carried on board. The motions are powered by what's called a shape-memory alloy, which can be deformed at one temperature but snap back into place once the temperature is changed. Flexible hinges and a polymer core allow these "muscles" to move any of the three legs either gradually or with a sudden snap, all enabled by tiny heaters embedded in the hardware.

Another interesting feature of the robot is its construction. The circuit board and polymer are originally made as a flat, triangular unit. A couple of folds are all that's needed to convert this shape into the Tribot's trefoil design.
The robot represents a significant advance, given that previous attempts at building robots that could move via different mechanisms involved simply having the robot carry different hardware for each mode of movement. But perhaps just as surprising is that the tiny circuitry contains everything needed for the robots to cooperate to perform tasks.
#Robots #Robotics #Technology