Harvard researchers have made the tiny Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR) even tinier. The next-gen, cockroach-inspired robot is about the size of a penny, and it can run at speeds of 13.9 body lengths per second. That makes it one of the smallest and fastest microrobots to date. The team also believes it’s the most dexterous robot of its size.
Dubbed HAMR-JR, the robot is a half-scale version of its predecessor, which researchers taught to swim and walk underwater. The team built HAMR-JR, in part, to test whether the origami-inspired manufacturing process used to build HAMR and other microbots, like RoboBee, could be used to build robots at multiple scales -- from tiny bots like HAMR-JR to large, industrial robots. They found that they were able to keep the design just as complex, even at the micro-scale.