In a major development, a group of researchers at MIT has created a unique 'walking motor'. The ambulatory microbe is made from five basic components, including a magnet and coil, and is capable of moving back and forth on a surface. Its capabilities could prove critical in powering a range of functions in machines without using expensive complex parts. Here's all about it. Modern-day robots employ expensive and complex parts to perform a given set of tasks. However, on most occasions, these machines are either rigid, i.e they are capable of performing one particular task, or perform poorly altogether. Now, with the new 'walking motor' and its capabilities, the researchers at MIT hope to offer both performance and flexibility without a huge investment. Just recently, the researchers showcased their walking motor, using it to turn the gear wheel of a machine. They say the rigid and flexible parts of the microbe can be combined with others of their kind to form robotic structures capable of crawling, gripping, or pushing for different tasks. They may function as 'micro-Lego' and even reassemble automatically to match the task at hand. In its current configuration, MIT's waking motor can lift seven times its own weight. It can also be attached to other parts to generate more force or to handle complex movements. Ultimately, the team envisions to have a standardized set of parts, which could give people the ability to assemble a robot for one particular task, then disassemble and reassemble it for another one. With affordable, reconfigurable robots, organizations will have the ability to use same machine for different jobs. At one point, the system of standardized parts could create an agricultural or disaster bot, while at another, it could be reconfigured to work in confined spaces. However, it's worth noting that there is a long to go before something like that could be a reality.