May 2, 2023

Self-folding origami machines powered by chemical reactions

Posted by in categories: chemistry, robotics/AI

A Cornell-led collaboration harnessed chemical reactions to make microscale origami machines self-fold—freeing them from the liquids in which they usually function, so they can operate in dry environments and at room temperature.

The approach could one day lead to the creation of a new fleet of tiny autonomous devices that can rapidly respond to their .

The group’s paper, “Gas-Phase Microactuation Using Kinetically Controlled Surface States of Ultrathin Catalytic Sheets,” published May 1 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper’s co-lead authors are Nanqi Bao, Ph.D. ‘22, and former postdoctoral researcher Qingkun Liu, Ph.D. ‘22.

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