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Researchers combine features of geckos and ants in tiny robots


03/15/2016

Using biomimicry researchers use 6 robots weighing less than half a pound each to tug a two ton car.



Researchers from Stanford University may have had ants for inspiration when they designed their tiny uBots. The researchers have created tiny robots, each weighing less than half a pound, which in unison have managed to tow a 3,900 pounds car. An astounding feat with loads of market potential.
 
According to the researchers this jaw dropping feat was achieved thanks to biomimicry. The teeny tiny robots weighing less than half a pound, have managed to pull off this feat thanks to the feet of gecko lizards.
 
The robots are designed to mimic gecko lizards who can support massive loads and still detach themselves easily. In their previous experiment, the researchers had pulled off the feat of the robots climbing a wall pulling heavy weights.
 
Capitalizing on the features of the gecko’s legs, this time the researchers have imitated the coordination generally seen in ants who work together as a team to pull such a mammoth load.
 
While studying ants, the researchers noted that they can boost their power by using three of their six legs.
 
"By considering the dynamics of the team, not just the individual, we are able to build a team of our 'microTug' robots that, like ants, are super strong individually, but then also work together as a team," said David Christensen, a graduate student to the NY Times.
 
In a similar fashion, the researchers used the robots wheels to muster a force of 200 Newtons, equivalent to 45 pounds. Despite weighing just half a pound each, the 6 tiny robots have managed to tug a two-ton vehicle.
 
 



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