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Researchers Build New Shape-Shifting LineFORM Robot

Update Date: Nov 11, 2015 12:35 PM EST

There is a new shape-shifting robot called LineFORM  with the ability to assume different shapes, even though it would retain a lot of its "flexibility and rigidity", according to Engadget.

It might begin with just a simple line. But soon it changes to become "everything from a phone to a robot exoskeleton", according to The Creators Project.

Researchers are hoping that it would give them new ways to harness technology. "Lines have several interesting characteristics from the perspective of interaction design," Hiroshi Ishii, lead researcher of the project, said. "By utilizing such aspects of lines together with the added capability of shape-shifting, we present various applications in different scenarios such as shape changing cords, mobiles, body constraints, and data manipulation to investigate the design space of line-based shape changing interfaces."

LineFORM can replace a number of devices in the market when it performs certain actions. For instance, it can probably "wrap around your wrist and give you a tap when a meeting is approaching and curl up into the form of a touch-sensitive keypad," according to Gizmodo. It might also wiggle and shake when you receive a text message. There might also be a number of plug-in additions, such as lightbulbs.Currently, it is a prototype, but the worm-like characteristics of the LineFORM are amazing and have jolted a number of people.

"One initial observation is that the larger LineFORM can startle users when it quickly changes form," the researchers said.

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