By: Jeremy Banda
Have you ever thought about how fascinating it would be to recreate the technology Tony Stark (Iron Man) uses in his latest film Avengers: Endgame? How the implementation of this would benefit many industries? It may seem impossible to recreate this form of technology but it is actually right at our doorstep. Although this is still in the development stages, the results are quite promising and we could expect to see this sort of technology used for medicinal purposes, emergencies, natural disasters and so much more in just a few years.
What type of technology?
Referring back to the film Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man is able to create any object from his suit of armor whenever necessary. For example, when being attacked by an enemy he simply wields a shield from his suit of armor at his command.
Essentially what he’s doing is just rearranging the atoms in his suit to accommodate his needs at that moment. Similarly, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are currently developing self-transforming blocks that are able to create a variety of structures with several applications through self-assembling.
The robots (blocks) are able to communicate with each other using a barcode like system on the faces of the blocks that allows them to identify each other. On each edge and face of the block there are also magnets which enable them to attach onto each other to complete simple tasks such as forming a straight line, arrows, etc. Rather than using moving arms or pieces to connect the blocks, the team of researchers at MIT instead decided to use inertial force which involves using the mass inside the blocks to throw against the side of the module; this leads to the rotation and movement of blocks.
How far are we to achieve what is seen on the big screen?
The results seen in this research demonstrate that we are closer than ever before to recreating this sort of technology. Although this is being achieved at a larger scale, it still has to be created at a nanoscale level to truly recreate what is seen in films such as Avengers: Endgame. This form of technology does not only seem radical but it can actually have a positive impact on many areas of science through its applications. If more advancements are made on this, it will only be a matter of years until we are able to experience what is seen in movies rather than just watching it from our seat.
R. (2019, October 30). Self-transforming robot blocks jump, spin, flip, and identify each other. Retrieved August 09, 2020, from http://news.mit.edu/2019/self-transforming-robot-blocks-jump-spin-flip-identify-each-other-1030
Weinstein, D. (2018). Avengers Infinity War: Thanos Vs Iron Man [Digital image]. Retrieved August 08, 2020, from artstation.com