Archimedes pointed out that with a lever he could move the world.
He most likely would have been surprised to learn that a team of six microrobots, weighing just 3.5 ounces in total, could pull a car weighing 3,900 pounds.
A group of researchers at the Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory at Stanford University has been exploring the limits of friction in the design of tiny robots that have the ability to pull thousands of times their weight, wander like gecko lizards on vertical surfaces or mimic bats.
Now they have pushed biomimicry in a new direction. They have taken their inspiration from tiny ants that work as teams to move massive objects. In this case, they are not just taking ideas from nature — the movie “Big Hero 6” made a great deal of what swarms of microrobots could do, including tossing cars.
The researchers’ approach is counterintuitive. Rather than striking powerful blows like a football player making a tackle or a jackhammer, they have focused on synchronizing the smooth application of very tiny forces. The microrobots work in concert, if slowly.
The researchers observed that the ants get great cooperative force by each using three of their six legs simultaneously.
The Latest on: Microrobots
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The Latest on: Microrobots
- The smallest microelectronic robot in the world (w/video)on March 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
A targeted control and steering of the microrobots is therefore not possible. This has changed with the system developed by Oliver G. Schmidt and his team, which is based on a nine-year-old idea ...
- Cell-sized micro-robot will carry drugs in your bloodstreamon March 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Small enough for injection without leaving a wound, new microrobots could revolutionize the way modern medicine treats certain hard-to-reach areas of the body. The eyes and brain are extremely ...
- Computational models for active matteron March 10, 2020 at 6:31 am
Active matter consists of energy-consuming units, which self-propel, exert forces on their neighbours and act collectively, resulting in emergent non-equilibrium behaviour. This Review surveys ...
- Essential Science: How robotics is reshaping surgical practiceon March 2, 2020 at 1:40 am
The process is based on a swarm of microrobots, constructed to deliver drugs to specific spots inside the body. The control and monitoring of the robots takes place outside the body, under the ...
- U of T researchers receive Canada-UK funding to develop AI-powered microrobots to capture brain cellson February 26, 2020 at 11:31 am
“We have previously developed microrobots for manipulating individual cells in a dish,” says Wheeler, a professor in U of T’s department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Institute ...
- Global Microbots Drug Delivery Advances, Therapeutic Applications & Opportunity Insight 2025on February 10, 2020 at 10:05 am
Report highlights on going advancements in the field of medical microrobots and their relevance with respect to multiple indication and therapies. Medical robotics is a very promising new branch.
- Acoustically driven microrobot outshines natural microswimmerson February 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Deploying ultrasound waves to actuate microrobots is not a new approach. However, previous robots with swimming capabilities have shown to be relatively slow, difficult to control near surfaces ...
- Intelligent microrobots: the dawn of a revolution in the field of minimally invasive medicineon April 19, 2019 at 8:35 am
Microrobots to the rescue! Miniature robots the size of around a single cell have the prospect of transforming medical therapy, as they are able to access enclosed spaces, making previously ...
- Jumping spiders and flying bees: The rise of bio inspired microrobotson May 30, 2018 at 3:08 am
He is presenting some of his research, “Spiders Attack: The rise of bioinspired microrobots” at Manchester’s Industry 4.0 Summit on Thursday 1 March. Here Dr Nabawy explains why micro robots really ...
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