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Building a robot takes a long time and when the robot is finally finished, it can usually only be used for one single purpose. Inconvenient in situations where time is scarce and tasks may not be known in advance. In an attempt to solve these challenges, researchers from ITU, MIT, Columbia and Cornell have now developed a robot printer that in a matter of minutes produces simple, yet functional robots that can complete a variety of tasks. “We use a premanufactured material consisting of a one-dimensional aluminum wire with motors that are connected to each other. We then feed the wire to the printer, which then bends the material into a robot whose form determines the function. If the material is folded in a certain way, it will be able to crawl. If you fold it differently, it could potentially climb or roll. After use, you can simply flatten the robot, press a button, and print a robot with a new function,” explains Sebastian Risi, an Associate Professor at ITU.”

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