It’s becoming increasingly apparent that robots of the future will be less ‘Wall-E’ and more ‘Voltron meets ant swarm’ – case in point, this new ambulatory motor created by MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld and his students at the school. The motor above is little more than a magnet and coil with some structural parts, but it can ‘walk’ back and forth or make the gears of a more complicated machine move back and forth.

On its own, this little moving microbes is impressive enough, but its real potential lies in what could happen were it to be assembled with others of its ilk, and with other building-block robotics components made up of simple parts, which is the vision of Gershenfeld and his research team. Previously,

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