Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled an untethered miniature origami robot that can walk, swim and fold itself.
The drone, which weighs a third of a gram and is 1.7 cm long, can disintegrate when it's done being used or when a mission is over by simply placing it in acetone.
The robot folds itself when activated from a flat sheet with a magnet through a small heat source. After a few seconds, it will be mobile, walking or swimming, as necessary.
The research team made the device mobile by adding two sets of magnets: a neodymium magnet which is in the robot itself and a set of four electromagnetic coils located under the operating surface where the drone is placed.
The magnets cycle on and off at 15 Hz, which causes the onboard magnet to move back and forth. This, in turn, causes the robot's asymmetrical feet to start moving, Engadget reported.
This is the first time that a robot has been able to demonstrate a complete life cycle like this. The team behind the robot believe it could be used to operate inside the human body for medicinal purposes and then just dissolve without a trace, Spectrum IEEE reported.
Take a look at the origami robot in action in the video below.