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AN amazing robot appears to have achieved the impossible by "defying the laws of physics” - and it may lead to new technologic discoveries in locomotion. 

The robot, which was created at the Georgia Institute of Technology, reportedly breaks the law of motion “that a stationary object cannot move without exchanging momentum with its environment.”

A team of engineers created a robot that 'defies the laws of physics'Credit: Georgia Tech

The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS]. 

Instead of flat mechanisms, the robot makes use of curved space. 

“We let our shape-changing object move on the simplest curved space, a sphere, to systematically study the motion in curved space,” said lead researcher Zeb Rocklin.

“We learned that the predicted effect, which was so counter-intuitive it was dismissed by some physicists, indeed occurred.

"[As] the robot changed its shape, it inched forward around the sphere in a way that could not be attributed to environmental interactions.”

To make sure the effects of the curved parts were dominated, the team had to isolate the robot as much as possible from outside forces. 

This was done to ensure little interaction or a change of momentum with the environment. 

The curved space was created by placing a set of motors drive on curved tracks, which were then attached to a rotating shaft to create a spherical space. 

To alleviate friction, air bearings and bushings were used and gravity was lowered by aligning the rotating shaft with the Earth’s gravity. 

The robot was only slightly affected by friction and gravity but both seemed to cross-breed with its curved parts, producing a strange dynamic that could not have been created on its own. 

Rocklin hopes the methods used by the team will lead to more experimental investigations of curved space. 

He believes it can be used to eventually navigate the highly curved space around black holes. 

“This research also relates to the ‘Impossible Engine’ study,” said Rocklin. 

“Its creator claimed that it could move forward without any propellant.

"That engine was indeed impossible, but because spacetime is very slightly curved, a device could actually move forward without any external forces or emitting a propellant."

It was described as "a novel discovery.”

Zeb Rocklin hopes the methods used by the team will lead to more experimental investigations of curved spaceCredit: Georgia Tech