A robot appeared, the size of a cockroach, which can move quickly even along very difficult routes. It can also operate on battery power.
Many insects and spiders have the amazing ability to walk up walls and upside down on the ceiling using special sticky pads that allow them to stick to surfaces where humans cannot step.
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley used the principle of some of these pads to create an insect-sized robot. He can twist and turn with the agility of a cheetah, giving him the ability to navigate difficult terrain and quickly avoid unexpected obstacles.
The robot is built from a thin, multi-layer material that flexes and contracts when an electrical voltage is applied. In a 2019 paper, the research team demonstrated that this simple design can be used to create a robot the size of a cockroach that can move across a flat surface at a speed of 20 body lengths per second.
The scientists noted that small and robust robots could be ideal for search and rescue operations or other dangerous situations, such as detecting potential gas leaks. While the team demonstrated most of the robot’s skills when it was powered by electricity and controlled through a small wire, they also created a “detached” version that runs on battery power for up to 19 minutes.
“One of the biggest challenges is building smaller robots that retain the power and control of larger robots,” Lin said. – In large-scale robots, you can install a large battery and control system. But when you try to shrink everything, the device moves very slowly. Our robot is very fast, quite robust, and requires very little energy.”