The DARPA Robotics Challenge, set up after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, aims to ‘accelerate the development of robots that can respond to man-made or natural disasters’.
This year, a transforming Korean bot won the $2 million prize.
Now here’s a montage of the robots that fell over.
The Untethered Miniature Origami Robot, created by scientists at MIT is a 1.7cm square device powered by a neodymium magnet and four subsurface electromagnetic coils that allow the robot to assemble itself like an origami sculpture, walk, climb, carry objects twice its weight, swim in shallow water, burrow and dissolve in an acetone solution leaving nothing but the magnet behind.
The potential, according to the research team, is for medical nanobots capable of killing cancer cells or unclogging arteries.