Miniature manufacturing processes were once solely the territory of Swiss watch makers, hand assembling tiny machines with precision. These types of manufacturing processes has never transferred well to mass production, until now.
A team of Harvard scientists have taken micro sized mass production in a whole new direction. Inspired by origami and fold out books the team has developed an incredible micro machine that requires almost zero human assembly. The Mobee is the first example of such a manufacturing process, a tiny collection of sub millimeter parts that self-assemble into miniature robotic Bee.
“This takes what is a craft, an artisan process, and transforms it for automated mass production,” says Pratheev Sreetharan (A.B. ’06, S.M. ’10), who co-developed the technique with J. Peter Whitney. Both are doctoral candidates at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).