Origami Robot Folds and Crawls by Itself. A team of researchers from MIT and Harvard has built the first origami-inspired robot that can fold and shuffle away by itself. According to a study published today in the journal Science, the robot starts off as a flat shape with the area of an ordinary piece of paper, and then assembles itself into a 3D shape in four minutes. Its designers say that origami-inspired engineering could be used in search-and-rescue missions or even in space, and has the potential to change the way we manufacture robots and machines. Origami Robot Folds and Crawls by Itself.