Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »


On a Roll.
“Now what we’re going to try to do is hook it up in a loop,” says Yim, tearing apart the lizard and reconstructing the snake. He then joins the snake’s ends, and the modules sense that “each one has a neighbor on both its head and its tail, and there’s no end, and therefore it’s a loop.” Yim places the loop on the table, where it steamrolls over a tape recorder. Though it appears that all the modules are working together, “There are actually only four modules running their motors at one time,” Yim notes. “No matter how many modules we have in the loop, it would still just be four. The inactive motors can be turned off to save power and to keep them from fighting each other. And with the motors off, the modules are looser, so they bend and conform to the terrain the loop covers. With more modules in the loop it could do things like climb on stairs and take the shape of the steps.”
 

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Computing

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me