Micro robots pull heavy weights

March 23, 2016 | 13:08
Micro robots pull heavy weights
Micro robots pull heavy weights
Nature remains a source of inspiration for robotics researchers and as such they have enrichened our world with swimming robots modeled after fish, flying robots that mimic insects and hound-like walking bots for the military. The sticky feet of the gecko have now led to the birth of extremely strong micro robots, capable of pulling 2000 times their own weight.

The MicroTugs, as they are lovingly called by their inventors at Stanford University, get their incredible force from their feet that are covered with tiny rubber spikes. When the foot is placed on a surface the spikes bend and make it stick; when the foot is lifted up the spikes straighten out. Similar to Velcro the rubber spikes provide huge strength in one plane and little strength in a perpendicular plane. A tiny robot equipped with artificial gecko feet is thus capable of pulling weight and climbing smooth surfaces.



The next step according to the researchers is adding ant’s teamwork to the gecko feet to increase their strength even more by working in groups. Also making them bigger for industrial use is considered an interesting avenue to explore.
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