Login

MIT lab builds self-assembling robot cubes

MIT Cube Robot

Today, MIT researchers unveiled a new kind of robot called M-blocks, a group of self-assembling cubes with no external moving parts. The M stands for "modular," which means the cubes can form themselves into whatever shape scientists require, in contrast to more specialized robots like rovers or walkers.

There's a flywheel inside each block, which provides the angular momentum to flip the cube from side to side, combined with a magnet to let the cubes stick to each other. The force from the flywheel is so strong that the cubes can actually hurl themselves over other objects, allowing to jump over other blocks and potentially navigate eternal obstacles. Researchers say the next step is to make the self-assembly process more automatic, so that a controller can describe a shape and let the cubes determine how to form it on their own.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.