A team of researchers at Harvard have developed a new shape-shifting material comprised of extruded cubes capable of transforming from 3D to flat all by itself.
Featuring 24 faces and 36 edges, the material is able to fold flat, stand upright, or wiggle its way into a position somewhere in between, thanks to each individual cell moving simultaneously.
One of the researchers on the team, Johannes Overvelde, explains:
This research demonstrates a new class of foldable materials that is also completely scalable. It works from the nanoscale to the meter-scale and could be used to make anything from surgical stents to portable pop-up domes for disaster relief.