In the past few years, we have covered plenty of origami robots here. Researchers from UW have now come up with a solar powered shape-changing origami microflier that can change shape in mid-air. As the researchers explain:
When unfolded and flat, the microfliers exhibit a tumbling behavior that increases lateral displacement in the wind. When folded inward, their orientation is stabilized, resulting in a downward descent that is less influenced by wind.
As the researchers explain, they used an electromagnetic actuator with peak force of 200 millinewtons within 25ms. They also fabricated a circuit on the structure with “a programmable microcontroller, Bluetooth radio, solar power harvesting circuit, a pressure sensor.”