Home » This sideways-scooting robot crab is so tiny it fits through the eye of a needle

This sideways-scooting robot crab is so tiny it fits through the eye of a needle

by admin

Small robot crabs are small enough to crawl sideways through the eyes of a needle. (Image credit: Northwestern University)

(Opens in a new tab)

Engineers have developed the world’s smallest remote-controlled walking robot. It mimics a mini crab that can be shuffled sideways without wires, hydraulics, electricity or other standard mechanical parts.

The robot crab, which is only 1/50 inch (0.5 mm) wide, can also bend, twist, turn, and jump. Walking robots are usually mechanically designed with many moving parts powered by a power source. Electricity.. However, these eight-legged creatures have a much simpler design, consisting of only a few nifty materials that can be manipulated by a laser.

Robots like crustaceans are made of elastic “memory foam” alloy and transform into a 3D shape like a pop-up book for children. A 2D crab-shaped alloy contour is attached to the robot’s stretched rubber substrate. Feet; As the substrate relaxes and the surface area decreases, the material is pushed upwards into the desired 3D crab shape.

Simulation of a pop-up process that gives a robot a 3D shape. (Image credit: Northwestern University)

(Opens in a new tab)

Laser heating the 3D alloy attempts to restore it to its original flattened 2D shape. However, it quickly cools back to the shape of a 3D crab before the alloy is completely flat. This sudden change in shape creates the movement of the robot.

The special glass coating of the alloy makes it easier to point the laser at certain areas of the robot, allowing for a variety of movements. To walk the crab sideways, the laser shines from one side of the body to the other, creating a kind of wave throughout the body as it flattens and returns to its original shape. The wave of movement moves the tiny crab in the direction of the laser.

A video of a robot being heated and cooled using a laser and flattening and contracting as it walks sideways. (Image credit: Northwestern University)

(Opens in a new tab)

Related: Pac-Man type blob becomes the world’s first self-replicating biological robot

You may also like

Leave a Comment