While humans need the right tools for the right job, some robots simply need the right outfit to roll, carry, push, and even glide. Primer, a tiny magnetic bot developed by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL), can don specially-treated sheets of plastic that form purpose-built shapes when heated. Each sheet essentially changes the shape of the robot and enhances the tiny bot’s capabilities. One turns the robot into a very small boat, another makes it into a sort of wheel barrel, and still another turns the bot into a glider that doesn’t stay aloft very long at all. The robot transforms.Image: MIT CSAILTo shed each exoskeleton, the magnetically-controlled Primer heads into a small pool of water, then rolls out

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