Here’s an excellent idea for your DIY projects: Make sticky actuators!
These particular actuators — motors that convert energy into motion — are small, inflatable pouches that are custom-printed in thermoplastic by a University of Tokyo and MIT Media Lab team. Stick a pouch under a hinge, and the tube-connected syringe can pneumatically inflate and deflate the pouch(es), moving your object: box lids, robot arms, frog mouths, origami cranes, and whatever else you can imagine!
Here’s another video from the project:
We love how much experimentation this project requires, and we have a few untested ideas about how to make a similar homemade actuator for our Cubebot. If you try to make your own sticky actuators, let us know!
Watch this next: The Self-Folding Crawler, a Transformer-style origami robot.