Researchers develop magnetically controlled dime-sized robot
Dynamic things come in small packages and that is true. The same has been evident in case of robotics which have taken huge leaps in terms of evolution. Recently we saw Harvard University’s RobotBee and bit before that tiny robots demonstrate real power by pulling a 3,900 pound car. Now it’s time for Ryan St. Pierre and Professor Sarah Bergbreiter from the University of Maryland to showcase their idea of nano robotics. Their original plan was to scale down an already miniscule robot like RHex, but it didn’t work that well due to locking of legs.
The final version although is a 3D printed four legged robot which has motors to move in forward or backward directions. This tiny little robot weighs just 1.6 grams and has a total height of 5.6 mm. Now that is one really small robot.
Since the robot is so small and it has metal legs, the developers decided to actuate its movement with the help of magnetic field. The magnetic field causes the legs to move and therefore moves the robot as well. Its top speed of 78mm/s is nothing to boast about, but considering its size, the speed is acceptable.
The developers presented this robot at the ICRA 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. According to Ryan and Sarah this robotic demonstration is dubbed “Gait Exploration of Sub-2 g Robots Using Magnetic Actuation”.
This dime-sized robot might not be the most tech loaded robot that we have seen, but it still impresses with the kind of tasks it can be endowed with.