Latest in Science

Image credit:

Tiny robot caterpillar can move objects ten times its size

The University of Warsaw creation is only 15 millimeters in length.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
August 19, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw

Soft robots aren't easy to make, since they require a completely different set of components from their rigid counterparts. It's even tougher to scale down the parts they typically use for locomotion. A team of researchers from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, however, successfully created a 15-millimeter soft micromachine that only needs light to be able to move. The microrobot is made of Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs), smart materials that change shape when exposed to visible light. Under a light source, the machine's body contracts like a caterpillar and forms waves to propel it forward.

The researchers said the robo-caterpillar can climb steep slopes, squeeze into minuscule spaces and move objects ten times its size. A tiny machine like this that can operate in challenging environments could be used for scientific research, and maybe even espionage if someone can find a way to attach a camera or a mic to it. But if the robot's a bit too small for a specific application, researchers could also adopt the team's method to make something a wee bit bigger.

In this article: caterpilla, robot, robots, science
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

View
Ubisoft's new hub will bring cross-play and cross-saves to more games

Ubisoft's new hub will bring cross-play and cross-saves to more games

View
'Pokémon Go' gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects

'Pokémon Go' gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects

View
Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

View
Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr