MIT Researchers created tiny magnetic robots using 3-D printers and this Magnetic 3-D-printed structures crawl, roll, jump, and play catch. The movement of 3-D printed structures can be controlled using a wave of a magnet.
The researchers fabricated each structure from a new type of 3-D-printable ink that they infused with tiny magnetic particles. They fitted an electromagnet around the nozzle of a 3-D printer, which caused the magnetic particles to swing into a single orientation as the ink was fed through the nozzle. By controlling the magnetic orientation of individual sections in the structure, the researchers can produce structures and devices that can almost instantaneously shift into intricate formations, and even move about, as the various sections respond to an external magnetic field.
This new printing technique could be used to develop remotely controlled biomedical devices.