Harvard Researchers Discover A New Material That Changes Shape, Size And Volume

Harvard University

12 March, 2016, USA: Harvard Researchers are working on a substance which will transform the entire world. Have you ever thought of a foldable house that can fit into your backpack or a wall that can reduce its size to as small as window? It may sound as fantasy but researchers at Harvard are working on a substance which can bring this fantasy into reality.

The material can change size, volume and shape and can fold flat to withstand the weight of an elephant without breaking, and pop right back up to prepare for the next task, scientists said.

Speaking on the development, Johannes T.B. Overvelde, researcher from Harvard University, said, “We have designed a three-dimensional, thin-walled structure that can be used to make foldable and reprogrammable objects of arbitrary architecture, whose shape, volume and stiffness can be dramatically altered and continuously tuned and controlled.”

“We not only understand how the material deforms, but also have an actuation approach that harnesses this understanding. We know exactly what we need to actuate in order to get the shape we want,” said Katia Bertoldi from Harvard University.

The structure is inspired by an origami technique called snapology, and is made from extruded cubes with 24 faces and 36 edges. Like origami, the cube can be folded along its edges to change shape, reports PTI.