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Physicists Take First Step Toward Cell-Sized Robots

An electricity-conducting, environment-sensing, shape-changing machine the size of a human cell? Is that even possible? Cornell physicists not only say yes, but they’ve actually built the “muscle” for one. The team has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment. And, they claim, these

Graphene Thinks Outside the Box

Inspired by origami, the ancient art of paper folding, Chinese researchers have created pre-programmed graphene-based paper that can self-fold into boxes, hand-like grippers, and even walking devices [Mu et al., Sci. Adv. (2015) 1, e1500533]. Folding and cutting two-dimensional materials is attracting new interest from materials scientists as an easy way of creating intricate three-dimensional