Material that can take on any shape
Researchers at MIT, together with the U.S. Army, have developed a mass-producible, configurable metamaterial. In the form of voxel building blocks, it can autonomously assemble itself into ever new structures as a robot swarm. The voxels have special mechanical properties and can, for example, perform a rotational movement when pressed. The researchers created four different voxels with specific capabilities that natural materials do not have. They could be combined and assembled, for example, into airplane wings that react to environmental stimuli by changing shape.