Functional paper robots bring origami into the 21st century.

Robotics might sound like a complicated and expensive hobby, but a team of researchers from MIT, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University have developed a way to build paper robots for less than $30. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, makes it easy to design, customize and print a robot in a matter of hours.

So far, the team have created a six-legged insect robot that could be used for exploring a contaminated area and a gripper that could be used by people with limited mobility. The eventual aim is that individuals could identify a household problem, head to a local printing store to select a blueprint, and then customize the design to deal specifically with their problem.

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