NASA have designed a robot, inspired by origami, to fold, transform and mould to space terrain.
“the creature’s lightweight design is capable of completely flattening itself, tucking in its wheels, and crawling into corners where other larger robots cannot fit. apt for skittering up sharp slopes and wriggling under rocks, several of the paper-like microbots can be flattened like cards and stacked one on top of another.”
the PUFFER robot runs off bluetooth and can be controlled remotely. but in the future, the JPL design team would like to add autonomy, allowing a whole squad of bots to conduct science as a mobile team. ‘small robotic explorers like PUFFER could change the way we do science on mars,’ adds karras. ‘we think it’s am exciting advance in robotic design.’