“Meet the smallest ever remote-controlled walking robot – even tinier than a flea.

The tiny robotic crab can “walk, bend, twist, turn and jump” according to engineers from Northwestern University and is small enough to stand on the edge of a coin.”

What fresh hell and skulduggery will they concoct for us with this?

Meet the smallest ever remote-controlled walking robot

Even smaller than a flea, the crab bot created by engineers from Northwestern University could signal the beginning of a new era of microscale robotics.

By: Sky News 27 May 2022:

The tiny robot is small enough to stand on the edge of a coin. Pic: John Rogers / Northwestern University
Image: The tiny robot is small enough to stand on the edge of a coin. Pic: John Rogers / Northwestern University

Engineers have unveiled the smallest remote-controlled walking robot ever created – even tinier than a flea.

The tiny robotic crab can “walk, bend, twist, turn and jump” according to engineers from Northwestern University in the US. It could signal the beginning of a new era of microscale robotics.
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The little machine isn’t powered by miniaturised hardware and electronics, but instead by a shape-memory alloy material that transforms when it is heated.

The robot was given the shape of a crab because it amused students. Pic: Northwestern University

Image: The robot was given the shape of a crab because it amused students. Pic: Northwestern University

How do they move?

The researchers use a scanned laser beam to rapidly heat the device at different locations across its body to make them transform and effectively force the robot to move.
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One of the tricks the researchers used was covering the device in a thin coating of glass that forces that part of the robot’s structure to return to its deformed shape after it cools.

“Because these structures are so tiny, the rate of cooling is very fast. In fact, reducing the sizes of these robots allows them to run faster,” explained Professor John Rogers, who led the experimental research…..

Read the rest…….

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