New, tiny gecko-inspired robot can haul up to 2000 times its weight

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Washington, Apr 28  A team of Stanford University scientists has developed a series of super-small, super strong robots that can haul up to 100 times their own weight.

The strongest of the miniature robots named “MicroTugs” weighs just 12 grams but can pull objects 2,000 times heavier than itself, which is like you pulling a blue whale, the Verge reported.

Another of the robots weighs just 9 grams but can climb up vertical walls carrying objects heavier than a kilogram, which is like a human hoisting an elephant up the side of a building.

Even the smallest of the bots, a miniature beast of burden that weighs 20 milligrams and was assembled under a microscope with a pair of tweezers, can pull objects 25 times its own weight.

Inspired by the gecko, the engineers covered the robots’ feet with tiny rubber spikes that bend when pressure is applied, which increases their surface area and thus their stickiness, and when the foot is lifted, the spikes straighten out, making them easy to detach from surfaces.

From the inchworm, the engineers borrowed the wall-climbing bot’s method of locomotion: while one half of its body moves forward, the other stays locked in place, which allows the bot to climb walls without losing its grip.

The robots will be presented in May at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

cerdit : (ANI)

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