Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Mobile Phones Which Assemble Themselves

Mobile Phones

MIT – Mobile Device which Assemble by Itself

A mobile device that tends to assemble by itself within a few moments has been created by researchers from MIT. The model created by the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab is said to be composed of six single parts that tend to assemble into two diverse mobile devices.The Self-Assembly Lab had been established in 2011 by the department of architecture research scientist Skylar Tibbits of MIT.

The lab was originally set up to work on 4D printing which is said to be a process that utilised 3D printers in the creation of materials which can grow and change on its own.The device is capable of assembling itself within a few minutes even in unsteady environment like being thrown around a tumbler.

Since then, MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab attained subsidy from DARPA to work on materials which could self-construct, comprising of flat-packed furniture that can build by them and self-lacing sneakers. The latest project for the Self-Assembly Lab is the partnership with designer Marcelo Coelho, experimenting consumer electronics with a self-assembling mobile phone. According to a report by Fast Co.Design, the source responsible for the self-assembly device, is simplicity. To start with, the tumbler needs to be going adequately fast so that the components seems to meet but do not break.

Components – Lock & Key Mechanism

The project tends to observe how a few components; an energy source together with the right collaborations enables a mobile phone to build itself without the need of any human interference or mechanisation. All the components of the device tend to have lock and key mechanism that like puzzle pieces tend to permit only the appropriate connection to happen and reject the ones which are not right.

Lastly it is essential for the parts to stick and hence the team utilised magnets ensuring that the right parts were attracted to each other. The researcher, Skylar Tibbits, who had been working on the project informed the publication that if one looks at how things are manufactured at every other scale except the human scale-look at DNA and cells and proteins, then view the planetary scale, everything is built through the self-assembly.

However, at the human scale, it seems to be the opposite. Everything seems to be built top down. We tend to take components and force them together. If this type of technology is adopted in mainstream, it would tend to have grave consequences for the manufacturing industry.

Cost of Automation Can be Condensed At Scale

According to MIT, the cost of automation can be condensed at scale removing the need of shifting labour overseas or have workers altogether. Moreover, jobs could be replaced with mechanisation and assembly-line staff at electronic factories could someday be a thing of the past.

But researchers are of the opinion that the possibilities for these types of designs seems to be limitless and could provide the vendors with more freedom in designing and creating improved and more ground-breaking products. Tibbits remarked that `right now the phone is pre-determined and we are using this process to assemble that phone.

But imagine you take a circuit board and have different logical building blocks and those logical building blocks can be tumbled around, you could have different functionalities’.MIT does not seem to be the only institution which has been exploring the possibilities of modular consumer products. Google has revealed that this year, Project Ara, the modular smartphone of the tech giant would be released in 2017.

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