Origami robots that reshape and transform themselves | Jamie Paik

Origami robots that reshape and transform themselves | Jamie Paik


As a roboticist,
I get asked a lot of questions. “When we will they start
serving me breakfast?” So I thought the future of robotics
would be looking more like us. I thought they would look like me, so I built eyes
that would simulate my eyes. I built fingers that are dextrous
enough to serve me … baseballs. Classical robots like this are built and become functional based on the fixed number
of joints and actuators. And this means their functionality
and shape are already fixed at the moment of their conception. So even though this arm
has a really nice throw — it even hit the tripod at the end– it’s not meant for cooking you
breakfast per se. It’s not really suited for scrambled eggs. So this was when I was hit
by a new vision of future robotics: the transformers. They drive, they run, they fly, all depending on the ever-changing,
new environment and task at hand. To make this a reality, you really have to rethink
how robots are designed. So, imagine a robotic module
in a polygon shape and using that simple polygon shape to reconstruct multiple different forms to create a new form of robot
for different tasks. In CG, computer graphics,
it’s not any news — it’s been done for a while, and that’s how
most of the movies are made. But if you’re trying to make a robot
that’s physically moving, it’s a completely new story. It’s a completely new paradigm. But you’ve all done this. Who hasn’t made a paper airplane,
paper boat, paper crane? Origami is a versatile
platform for designers. From a single sheet of paper,
you can make multiple shapes, and if you don’t like it,
you unfold and fold back again. Any 3D form can be made
from 2D surfaces by folding, and this is proven mathematically. And imagine if you were to have
an intelligent sheet that can self-fold into any form it wants, anytime. And that’s what I’ve been working on. I call this robotic origami, “robogami.” This is our first robogami transformation that was made by me about 10 years ago. From a flat-sheeted robot, it turns into a pyramid
and back into a flat sheet and into a space shuttle. Quite cute. Ten years later, with my group
of ninja origami robotic researchers — about 22 of them right now — we have a new generation of robogamis, and they’re a little more effective
and they do more than that. So the new generation of robogamis
actually serve a purpose. For example, this one actually navigates
through different terrains autonomously. So when it’s a dry
and flat land, it crawls. And if it meets sudden rough terrain, it starts rolling. It does this — it’s the same robot — but depending on which terrain it meets, it activates a different sequence
of actuators that’s on board. And once it meets an obstacle,
it jumps over it. It does this by storing energy
in each of its legs and releasing it and catapulting
like a slingshot. And it even does gymnastics. Yay. (Laughter) So I just showed you
what a single robogami can do. Imagine what they can do as a group. They can join forces to tackle
more complex tasks. Each module, either active or passive, we can assemble them
to create different shapes. Not only that, by controlling
the folding joints, we’re able to create and attack
different tasks. The form is making new task space. And this time, what’s most
important is the assembly. They need to autonomously
find each other in a different space, attach and detach, depending on
the environment and task. And we can do this now. So what’s next? Our imagination. This is a simulation
of what you can achieve with this type of module. We decided that we were going
to have a four-legged crawler turn into a little dog
and make small gaits. With the same module, we can actually
make it do something else: a manipulator, a typical,
classical robotic task. So with a manipulator,
it can pick up an object. Of course, you can add more modules
to make the manipulator legs longer to attack or pick up objects
that are bigger or smaller, or even have a third arm. For robogamis, there’s no
one fixed shape nor task. They can transform into anything,
anywhere, anytime. So how do you make them? The biggest technical challenge
of robogami is keeping them super thin, flexible, but still remaining functional. They’re composed of multiple layers
of circuits, motors, microcontrollers and sensors, all in the single body, and when you control
individual folding joints, you’ll be able to achieve
soft motions like that upon your command. Instead of being a single robot that is
specifically made for a single task, robogamis are optimized to do multi-tasks. And this is quite important for the difficult and unique
environments on the Earth as well as in space. Space is a perfect
environment for robogamis. You cannot afford to have
one robot for one task. Who knows how many tasks
you will encounter in space? What you want is a single robotic platform
that can transform to do multi-tasks. What we want is a deck
of thin robogami modules that can transform to do multiples
of performing tasks. And don’t take my word for it, because the European Space Agency
and Swiss Space Center are sponsoring this exact concept. So here you see a couple of images
of reconfiguration of robogamis, exploring the foreign land
aboveground, on the surface, as well as digging into the surface. It’s not just exploration. For astronauts, they need additional help, because you cannot afford
to bring interns up there, either. (Laughter) They have to do every tedious task. They may be simple, but super interactive. So you need robots
to facilitate their experiments, assisting them with the communications and just docking onto surfaces to be
their third arm holding different tools. But how will they be able
to control robogamis, for example, outside the space station? In this case, I show a robogami
that is holding space debris. You can work with your vision
so that you can control them, but what would be better
is having the sensation of touch directly transported onto
the hands of the astronauts. And what you need is a haptic device, a haptic interface that recreates
the sensation of touch. And using robogamis, we can do this. This is the world’s
smallest haptic interface that can recreate a sensation of touch
just underneath your fingertip. We do this by moving the robogami by microscopic and macroscopic
movements at the stage. And by having this, not only
will you be able to feel how big the object is, the roundness and the lines, but also the stiffness and the texture. Alex has this interface
just underneath his thumb, and if he were to use this
with VR goggles and hand controllers, now the virtual reality
is no longer virtual. It becomes a tangible reality. The blue ball, red ball
and black ball that he’s looking at is no longer differentiated by colors. Now it is a rubber blue ball,
sponge red ball and billiard black ball. This is now possible. Let me show you. This is really the first time
this is shown live in front of a public grand audience, so hopefully this works. So what you see here
is an atlas of anatomy and the robogami haptic interface. So, like all the other
reconfigurable robots, it multitasks. Not only is it going to serve as a mouse, but also a haptic interface. So for example, we have a white background
where there is no object. That means there is nothing to feel, so we can have a very,
very flexible interface. Now, I use this as a mouse
to approach skin, a muscular arm, so now let’s feel his biceps, or shoulders. So now you see
how much stiffer it becomes. Let’s explore even more. Let’s approach the ribcage. And as soon as I move
on top of the ribcage and between the intercostal muscles, which is softer and harder, I can feel the difference
of the stiffness. Take my word for it. So now you see, it’s much stiffer
in terms of the force it’s giving back to my fingertip. So I showed you the surfaces
that aren’t moving. How about if I were to approach
something that moves, for example, like a beating heart? What would I feel? (Applause) This can be your beating heart. This can actually be inside your pocket while you’re shopping online. Now you’ll be able to feel the difference
of the sweater that you’re buying, how soft it is, if it’s actually cashmere or not, or the bagel that you’re trying to buy, how hard it is or how crispy it is. This is now possible. The robotics technology is advancing
to be more personalized and adaptive, to adapt to our everyday needs. This unique specie
of reconfigurable robotics is actually the platform to provide
this invisible, intuitive interface to meet our exact needs. These robots will no longer look like
the characters from the movies. Instead, they will be whatever
you want them to be. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Origami robots that reshape and transform themselves | Jamie Paik

  1. When we're zipping around from planet to planet, this will be the stereotype for all that. Or we'll be in the real life Terminator movie. Wow.

  2. cutting edge…I look, I think and the million-dollar question is…
    Will it have empathy? Can it, will it show empathy???
    this tech… is very dangerous!
    The misuse can also be stunning…
    are you reading this Jamie Paik? …

  3. this is actually a great idea: on Mars, it only has 1/3 of gravity, which is an ideal environment for this kind of join design.

  4. Make a robot in a furniture form so that it cut down the cost and time of having to move to a new location. It can save space and more

  5. Wow ! You will make a lot of money with this tech ! Its good things you will can send a part of your profit for healing me and all morgellon victim !

  6. Keep your fucking work on something will kill you all and will slave you and there is no turn back from there. good job

  7. how about developing sentient robots?
    also some robots are maybe sentient or ai maybe sentient but is switched off during development
    its unethical

  8. Super awesome! I can’t wait to see what practical applications it will be used for in the future! There are so many things it could do.

  9. wow making it sound like morgellons is good…. nothing a.i robotic inside a human being is good… the indoctrination of this is really intense and dum dums will fall for it

  10. When will man's hubris cease? When we are all wiped out and the psycho's have their robot servants? When is enough for man has a way of ALWAYS turning a good thing against us. Just look at the "Defense" department, they come up with most of the tech and then just go ahead to kill millions unfettered by conscience it seems.

  11. I can see the novelty in compliant mechanism's idea. But this "robogami" … how is it better than the (very old) idea of the swarm? Robogami seems like "swarm with most of connections between bots preset", which will only make sense if connecting/disconnecting the identical "swarm bots" is very bad (i.e. fragile or complicated).

  12. What happened to her showing us a robot that could scramble an egg? All she really has is a new kind of mouse and she is telling us that it can do a lot more than it can actually do.

  13. Reminded me of a sci-fi movie called Demon Seed from 1977 with a folding AI robot named Proteus – perhaps because it could assume lots of different shapes.

  14. Sorry. But you are on the wrong path… I applaud your efforts to better mankind…But like the baseball throwing arm, these robots have a finite set of functions.. As you said, they can't make scrambled eggs. They can't adapt to a task that isn't specifically designed into their skill set. I actually built a robot, just like the ones with the springs that jump, back in 1987. It had an eye. It could see edges and it could see in the x,y,z plane.. But it could only do tasks that it was designed for.

  15. As a handicapped person this technology would be good if it could be adapted for weight, size, and movement replacing a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair which are large and cumbersome…you need to get out or into a taxi or car it disassembles so each piece can be placed in a backpack/ carrier bag… I can see this technology being used for so many diff things…

  16. I got a bad feeling about of robots just saying if there are hacker that will be one of the reason also Americans have better High Tech Machine computer bot

  17. I'm so glad I saw this. I was this close to ignoring it because I thought this was some metaphor and she was actually going to talk about proteins or whatnot

  18. If they had only two different triangles they could take advantage of the endless patterns of Penrose tiling and potentially simplify the structures they need to fold.

  19. Transforming robots will be great! They'll be able to reshape themselves into any required form to hunt and capture people no matter where they go! 😆

  20. Humans are so stupid that they would make something that can become smarter and stronger than them , while believing a superior creation (robots) will serve the inferior creation (humans)

  21. I really appreciate the idea of learning from origami and transformers. Yet at the preliminary stage, it can only change shape in limited ways because of the limit of controlled joints. It cannot change the stiffness, thickness or the smoothness of its surface because the material it is made of remains the same. I wonder how we can achieve that part.

  22. Wooooooooaaahhhhh. Very exciting. When can I start investing????? I could use a few hundred in my home and work. Know as this tech is refined and comes into its own it’s going to blow up. Cannot wait!!

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