Rubik’s Robots: Real Life Transformers

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Real life is increasingly — incessantly — inexorably invading what was once the privileged domain of science fiction.

“Rubik’s Robots” — real life transformer robots based on principles of the famous Rubik’s Cube — are in the works at MIT!

Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, is one of the fascinating people I follow on the Google Plus social network. He recently brought to his fans’ attention the above video from the MIT group working on robots.

The shape=shifting robots are formed from many tiny cubes, which adhere magnetically to one another, and which can move independently using internal flywheels and actuators. Each cube can act independently, as well as in concert with all of the others.

Currently, they’re controlled from outside using radio or wifi signals. As miniaturization advances, however, it should be possible to have them control themselves and make independent judgments, cooperating to confront whatever challenge or environments they face.

Today, of course, these units are the size of small, well, cubes. Wait till they shrink to molecular dimensions and become self-replicating. This too is on the way.

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